The Mounds Theatre is located in the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood on the East Side of St Paul. Once a classic single screen cinema, it fell into disrepair as a warehouse for decades. Raeann Ruth and her organization Portage for Youth pulled together volunteers and funding -and with the generous donation of the building by George Hardenbergh- renovated it into a performance space, opening in 2003. The new Mounds was designed as a center for educating youth and a place for both film and live theater to be enjoyed by the community. In January of 2015, the day-to-day operations and board transitioned to Jessica Johnson, an East-Sider who had been producing shows in the space for several years.
Luckily for the Theatre, the renovation happened at just the right time in fundraising history, and combined with Raeann's relentless hustling during her tenure, the organization has no debt to service. Our main goal during the indefinite lull in live, in-person events through the course of the COVID-19 Pandemic is to make sure the building is maintained so we can get back to hosting performances as soon as it is safe.
Maintenance costs are coming to an unfortunate crescendo right now, as many of the systems installed and updated during the renovation are reaching their natural end of life at once. A short list includes: one small and one large furnace, a sometimes leaky roof membrane, and a water heater on its last legs. Our fundraising goal for this campaign includes costs for those last two, another campaign is in the works to get the HVAC work done.