Earlier this month, Wareham Hall Inc., the nonprofit organization working to revitalize the Wareham Opera House in downtown Manhattan, received a $250,000 grant from the State Park Revitalization & Investment in Notable Tourism (SPRINT) program.
President Blade Mages says the funding, part of $30 million in tourism grants from leftover American Rescue Plan Act funds, will go toward some needed facility upgrades.
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Wareham Hall was one of 18 recipients in Kansas of the tourism grants. Mages says as important as the money is, it’s also good to have a balance in fundraising, between state, private and corporate support. As for how far Wareham is in its overall fundraising campaign, Mages says they’re gathering a lot of momentum.
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Formal architectural design can start once the organization surpasses its 50 percent goal in fundraising, which Mages is targeting to happen sometime this summer.
Mages says while they are not currently hosting much in the way of events at the Wareham, they will be welcoming Bridget Everett to town for a special watch party Sunday night for the season finale of her hit HBO TV series Somebody Somewhere.
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The event sold out within just a few days.

Several local businesses, including Everett’s favorites are taking part in Sunday’s event including Manhattan Brewing Company, The Chef, Varsity Donuts, Rock-a-Belly and Vista. The event is doubling as a fundraiser for Be Able and True Colors Flint Hills.

The season finale includes two episodes and Mages says afterward they’re planning a version of choir practice similar to the show.

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To learn more about the Wareham revitalization project or to take their community survey, visit warehamhall.org.