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Torn Space Theater gets $275,000 from Show House fundraiser

Torn Space Theater already is a major player in the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood.

It’s about to be even more so, thanks to the Junior League of Buffalo.

Torn Space Theater will receive $275,000 from proceeds from the 2015 Decorators’ Show House. The Show House project is a major biennial community fundraiser co-sponsored by the Junior League and The Buffalo News.

Torn Space Theater co-founder and artistic director Dan Shanahan said the grant will enable his company to expand its presence on Fillmore Avenue. The grant will fund a $700,000 renovation of its theater in the historic Adam Mickiewicz Dramatic Circle and Library and the construction of a separate design studio in a former gas station next door.

The grant, Shanahan said, is “indicative of people’s interest and excitement in redeveloipng that part area of the Fillmore Corridor. It allows us to continue our investment in the East Side and also ensure our long term commitment to that area.”

The project, scheduled to break ground this summer with a target completion date of Septmeber 2017, is about $140,000 short of its goal.

Last spring’s show house was the Edward H. Webster House on Lincoln Parkway, which was selected for the 18th Decorators’ Show House. Since 1981, the project has raised more than $3.7 million for Western New York nonprofit groups.

The Junior League of Buffalo received more than 35 applications from nonprofit organizations located throughout Western New York. Following an extensive interview process, two organizations emerged as finalists and were presented to the general membership on April 19 as they pitched their project’s impact and financial need.

Colleen Seminara, the group’s president, said Junior League members have devoted themselves to worthy projects such as Torn Space.

Gerard Place was the other finalist and presented to the Junior League on the need to create the Gerard Place Family Day Care at the organization’s east side Community Center location.

Since 1981, the Decorators’ Show House has raised more than $3.7 million for Western New York nonprofit organizations. In addition to the grants distributed from Show House proceeds, the Junior League of Buffalo also provides thousands of dollars in community assistance grants and scholarships annually.

email: smartin@buffnews.com and cdabkowski@buffnews.com

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