City of Iowa City pledges $1 million to Englert, FilmScene fundraising campaign

The city of Iowa City has announced it will pledge $1 million to the recently announced Strengthen Grow Evolve campaign.


Joseph Cress

Iowa City City Hall is seen on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

Sarah Stortz, Arts Reporter

The city of Iowa City pledges $1 million to the Englert Theater and FilmScene’s current fundraising campaign.

Strengthen Grow Evolve, the collaborative fundraising effort between the organizations, was announced April 20. The goal is to reach $6.5 million that would go to both establishments, helping support their historic preservation.

“The Englert Theater is a historic treasure and a vibrant community space,” Englert Executive Director Andre Perry said in a news release from the city of Iowa City. “This collaboration is an opportunity to strengthen this century-old legacy and build an arts landscape worthy of future generations.”

The funds will additionally help with creating a new film festival named Refoucus Film Festival, supporting existing art festivals such as Witching Hour and Mission Creek, helping FilmScene move into its new cinema, and supporting collaboration among University of Iowa groups, according to the release.

The campaign has received additional support from the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, the Iowa City Downtown District, and individual private contributors.

“This community’s passion for the arts, be it literature, music, cinema, is one of the defining characteristics of the city of Iowa City,” City Manager Geoff Fruin said in the release. “Supporting FilmScene and the Englert Theater is an excellent opportunity to help ensure the arts continue to thrive in Iowa City for decades to come.”