Allan H. (Bud) and Suzanne L. Selig launch a $1.5 million challenge match
Moments before the opening night film began at the 10th Annual Milwaukee Film Festival, presented by Associated Bank, Milwaukee Film CEO and Artistic Director, Jonathan Jackson, announced the Take A Seat campaign, a public fundraising drive to restore the historic Oriental Theatre and ensure the organization’s long term stability. To kick off the campaign, long time festival supporters, Allan H. (Bud) and Suzanne L. Selig, have pledged $1.5 million; but first, Milwaukee Film must match that amount.
Audiences have the opportunity for their name to become a permanent part of the Oriental Theatre’s future by sponsoring a seat. For a gift of $2,500, a seat in the Oriental Theatre Main House can be sponsored. Seats in the Oriental Theatre East, West, and Main House Balcony can be sponsored for $1,000. New seats with the engraved names are planned to be installed during the last phases of the theater’s ambitious restoration plans, with a target date of late 2019.
Other ways to join the challenge match include becoming a Milwaukee Film member or by upgrading one’s current membership to a higher level.
Jackson states, “Cinephiles, architectural enthusiasts, and those who just love our great city of Milwaukee can join in and support this incredible effort. Help us not only restore what I believe to be the greatest cinema in the world, but also support Milwaukee Film as we continue to grow and serve our community through education programs, community outreach, and filmmaker services.”
Since securing the lease of the Oriental Theatre, Milwaukee Film has been quietly fundraising through private donors, with lead contributions made by Chris Abele, Donald and Donna Baumgartner, The Herzfeld Foundation, and Sheldon and Marianne Lubar Charitable Fund. To date, the organization has raised more than $7 million dollars.
To learn more about the Take A Seat campaign and how to contribute to the effort, visit mkefilm.org/take-a-seat