A collaboration between The Englert Theatre and FilmScene

Building the greatest small city for the arts in America.


Help us build the greatest small city for the arts in America—right here in Iowa City.

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Campaign Initiative #1


Our reputation for excellence is built on diverse and distinguished art, dedicated patronage, and a rewarding audience experience.

Beautiful spaces play an equally important role, and our century-old buildings require regular upkeep and renovation to keep our artists and patrons happy.

Sustaining our Historic Spaces

We will strengthen FilmScene’s flagship Ped Mall location and modernize the historic Englert Theatre, sustaining our venues, improving audience experience and accessibility, and enhancing lighting, sound, and stage production to deliver that all important nightly, “wow.”

FilmScene Ped Mall Cinema Revitalization
  • New seating
  • Lobby improvements
  • Maintaining modern presentation standards
The Englert Theatre Historic Preservation + Modern Enhancements
  • Building facade and brick repair
  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Window restoration
  • HVAC renovation
  • Electric and wiring renovation
  • Stage and house lighting
  • Carpet replacement
  • Roofing membrane
  • Modernized audio system
  • Fire panel replacement
  • Gallery renovation
2020 Englert Stretch Goals

Iconic marquee rehabilitation • New seating • Plaster repair • Solar installation • DCP film projector + screen


122,000 patrons

served annually by FilmScene and the Englert in 2018, 44% through free and subsidized ticket programs and community partnerships.


Campaign Initiative #2


We relish the opportunity to build a brand new, world-class arts facility for the next generation and elevate the presentation of film to a new level.

To fill our remarkable spaces, some of our richest and most prominent programming is found in our festivals, which we intend to nurture and expand.

FilmScene at Chauncey

A new state-of-the-art three-screen facility at The Chauncey—in the heart of downtown—will become FilmScene’s landmark home. Working towards ownership of the facility by our nonprofit will ensure organizational stability and secure the future of film as an art form in Iowa City.

  • Three new cinemas, seating over 225 moviegoers
  • Flexible space for educational programming
  • Programming expansion through increased show-times, community partnerships, and film offerings
  • Cutting-edge picture and sound with enhanced comfort and expanded food and drink options
  • Office space for a growing staff
Festival Investments
  • With expanded cinema facilities, we will create Refocus Film Festival, presenting films inspired by and adapted from original text—a unique film event for our City of Literature.
  • Continued nurturing of the Englert’s two annual festivals: the literature and performance mainstay Mission Creek Festival and Witching Hour, which explores the creative process.
2020 Stretch Goals

Outdoor screening capabilities on the Chauncey Park lawn • Endowing our festival efforts


$4.03 Million

Estimated annual impact of our arts programming on the ICR region.*
*Americans for the Arts and Art House Convergence economic impact studies


Campaign Initiative #3


Our campaign is only worth pursuing if we truly feel there is an opportunity to improve access and engagement with the arts for all people in our community.

Iowa City and the surrounding area have great promise but we must take collaborative action on arts education and engagement to fulfill the promise ahead.

Our Dream

Every student in the Iowa City Community School District will engage a meaningful arts experience before graduation.

Arts Access Initiative

We seek to launch an arts education effort in collaboration with local partners to expand arts engagement in our community. Together, we will hire a Community Engagement Director, dedicated to fostering deeper artistic connections with our local K-12 schools, universities and colleges, neighborhoods, and the diverse cultures of our community and to expanding year-round arts education workshops and artist visits to our schools.

Allied Arts Initiative

The Englert and FilmScene will deepen important partnerships with the Bijou Film Board, SCOPE Productions, and other University of Iowa organizations and work with a collective of local cultural nonprofits to share ideas and best practices, work together, and envision a collective future for our entire region, starting here in Iowa City.

2020 Stretch Goals

Active year-round artist residency house • Collaborative programming and artist support


100+ partnerships

with community and University organizations annually, deepening engagement and creating conversation through art.



This campaign will only succeed with the help of passionate volunteers.


Support Our Goal

Please consider a donation to support the Strengthen • Grow • Evolve campaign to build the greatest small city for the arts.

Our goal is to raise $6.5 million dollars to secure the long-term vitality of our two organizations and expand our community impact.

Progress towards our $6.5M Goal

64% with confirmed pledges, anticipated tax credits, and grants

Funding is needed immediately to stay on track for a fall 2019 opening of FilmScene at the Chauncey and phase one renovations at the Englert. Our campaign will continue to raise funding until the historic Englert Theatre completes renovations in summer of 2020.

Donate Today



Donor Tiers

Every dollar matters

You can make a one-time contribution or a five-year pledge quickly and easily online right now.

Donations by check can be made out to “Strengthen Grow Evolve” and mailed c/o The Englert Theatre, 221 E. Washington St., Iowa City, IA 52240.


Your contribution will help us reach our ambitious goal. Thank you!

Name a seat

Leave a lasting legacy by naming a seat at FilmScene! Our new modern seating will be carefully selected for comfort, attractiveness and durability.

We are offering our community an opportunity to sponsor a seat at multiple levels that are meaningful and significant. Seat naming is available through a five-year pledge agreement, and your named seat will far outlive that commitment.

Name A Seat

Thank you for supporting our campaign with a lasting commitment.

Named & Creative Giving

Legacy naming opportunities are available for major giving, including theater and room naming options. To discuss these exciting options, or for creative giving options including stock transfers, multi-year pledges, or to pledge by phone, please contact Katie Roche by phone at 319-688-2653 x107, or by email at


Staff Leadership

Andre Perry
Englert Executive Dir.
Katie Roche
Englert Development Dir.
Andrew Sherburne
FilmScene Interim Executive Dir.
Nina Lohman
Assoc. Development Dir.
Nolan Petersen
Development Associate
Mac Chuchra
Development Assistant
Claire Barrett
Marketing Coordinator
Stacia Rain
Design Coordinator

Campaign Co-Chairs

Dick & Joyce Summerwill (Honorary)
Wally & Karen Chappell (Honorary)
Amanda West
Nina Lohman

FilmScene Board of Directors

Karen Chappell, Chair
Hans House, Vice Chair
Laura Seegmiller, Secretary
Chris Ameling, Treasurer
Emma Barnum
Molly Bagnall
Laura Bergus
Corey Creekmur
Will Downing
Evan Evans
Sal Goedken
David Gould
Tommy Haines
Adam Ingersoll
Uri Lessing
Nina Lohman
Jake Nelson
T.J. Dedeaux-Norris
Kembrew McLeod
Doug Ongie
Ryan O’Leary
Andre Perry
Sarah Russett
Anna Stone
Lynn Weinstein
Nick Westergaard

Englert Board of Directors

Amy Hospodarsky, President
Andy Martin, Vice President
Jason Wagner, Treasurer
Nick Bergus, Secretary
Vickie Sharp, Past President
JB Barnhouse
Carl Brown
Rob Decker
Todd Fanning
Timothy Hill
Brad Johnson
Muneera Kapadia
Nellie Link
Tim McDougall
Joe Moreland
Jessie Singerman
Elliott Sohn