Keeping the lights on at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore will be less costly after 156 solar panels were recently installed on the building roof.
The eco-friendly upgrade was commemorated during a celebratory event last Tuesday night, which also kicked off a $140,000 challenge gift campaign benefiting the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center (LVPAC).
The solar panels were added last month and will power the theater during the day while helping to cut costs in the evening. A monitor showing ongoing power use and savings from the panels also will be placed in the concession area of the lobby.
Last year, incandescent stage lights were replaced with LED models and environmentally-friendly carpeting was also added inside the theater as part of the “Green the Bankhead” campaign started in 2017. Other projects in the works include adding low-flow plumbing fixtures and an office overhaul to help capture more natural light.
“As an independent nonprofit arts organization, we rely on the generous support of our donors and this challenge grant will help us achieve our financial goals,” Chris Carter, director of development and communications, said in a statement. “But reducing costs can also help us reach those goals and being able to make use of the free power from the sun makes a big difference.”
Donations made to the LVPAC gift campaign until Dec. 31 will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $140,000 by three donors to support end-of-year fundraising. The contributions will help fund events at both the Bankhead and Bothwell Arts Center, as well as educational outreach, free community events and subsidies for student tickets.
Board leaders and past challenge donors praised the increased public support for the organization, whose membership reached an all-time high of 959 members this year.
“To support LVPAC as it grows, our base of support will have to grow as well,” said Jean King, chair of the Board of Directors.
“Having three new challenge donors come forward with a commitment of this size is a significant step in the right direction,” added board president Joan Seppala.
The $140,000 matching grant runs through the end of the year and includes gifts of securities and contributions made for #GivingTuesday on Dec. 3. Donations can be made at lvpac.org. For more information about giving opportunities, gifts of securities and other donation types, email [email protected]