We Need You For The Closing Act

1. The Dream
2. A New Landmark
3. Unity & Collaboration
4. Restoring an Icon
5. Resiliency
6. Towards $5.5 Million
7. Success at $6 Million
8. The Closing Act

1. The Dream

Sharing The Dream

April 2019
$2.7 Million Raised

Strengthen Grow Evolve—an ambitious joint capital campaign led by FilmScene and The Englert Theatre—is announced to the public is announced to the public at a celebratory event linking the historic Englert stage with FilmScene’s new theaters at The Chauncey. Over 500 people were in attendance to hear our dreams of Building the Greatest Small City for the Arts.

2. A New Landmark

The Chauncey Opens

September 2019
$4.0 Million Raised

A major element of our Grow initiative, FilmScene at The Chauncey opens with a three-day celebration including a donor lighting ceremony, the first public screening of Downtown Abbey, and a community-wide open house in partnership with more than a dozen local arts organizations.

3. Unity & Collaboration

Iowa City Downtown Arts Alliance Forms

March 2020
$4.5 Million Raised

Aligning with one of the key goals of the Evolve initiative, a consortium of eight nonprofit arts organizations in downtown Iowa City come together to form the Iowa City Downtown Arts Alliance and speak with a unified voice regarding the importance of the arts to a vibrant community.

4. Restoring an Icon

Englert Renovations Begin

May 2020
$4.6 Million Raised

The Englert Theatre, Iowa City’s century-old performing arts venue, begins work to preserve and modernize this historic space. As the pillar of our Strengthen initiative, work includes interior and exterior structural improvements, improved lighting and sound, a renovation of the second floor parlor, and restoration of the iconic Englert marquee.

5. Resiliency

Weathering the Storm

Summer 2020
$5.0 Million Raised

This summer brought a change of plans—for everyone on Earth. First, we addressed the economic fallout of the pandemic through PPP loans, operational reductions, grant awards (NEA, Mellon, Iowa Arts Council), and the unbelievable support of our Friends & Members. Then we continued to reckon with how our organizations could be better leaders in a country torn by racism and inequity for centuries. At once we fought to complete this campaign, save our organizations, and be better stewards of a just society.

6. Towards $5.5 Million

Fulfilling a Promise

New Years Eve 2020
$5.5 Million Raised

Now we must finish the work. If we raise $5.5 Million, we will complete and pay for all of our preservation and expansion projects, continue our work with the Iowa City Downtown Arts Alliance, finish our arts access study, and raise crucial end-of-year funds that will get FilmScene and the Englert through a difficult 2020.

7. Success at $6 Million

Realizing a Dream

New Years Eve 2020
$6.0 Million Raised

We can acheiving a lasting success and one step closer to becoming the Greatest Small City for the Arts if we raise $6 Million to launch and staff our community engagement initiative, fund a public cinema package for Chauncey Swan park, and create a resiliency fund to ensure that Englert and FilmScene have enough working capital to sustain through a challenging 2021.

8. The Closing Act

We Need Everyone, Including You

New Years Eve 2020
$6.0 Million Raised

We’re ready for the closing act. Together. At a time of year when our two organizations would typically make separate asks for support, we come together for the ultimate collaborative ask: Can you help us secure the future of The Englert Theatre and FilmScene and successfully complete our capital campaign? We have a vision to be the Greatest Small City for the Arts in America. We can realize that dream. Together.


Progress: $5.37 Million towards our $6 Million Goal

89% with confirmed pledges, grants and anticipated tax credits.

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Funding Level Required

Completed Funding secured Ensured at $5.5 million Ensured at $6.0 million

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

FilmScene’s original home will be updated with:
  New comfort seating in The Screening Room  New cinema-style seating in Scene 1  Lobby improvements  Maintaining modern presentation standards

Englert Historic Preservation & Modernization

These investments will ensure the long-term health of the 108-year-old Englert Theatre, an architectural gem whose lights are a beacon in the heart of downtown Iowa City:
  Iconic marquee rehabilitation  Building facade and brick repair  Window restoration  HVAC renovation  Improved energy efficiency  Roofing membrane  Fire panel replacement  2nd floor renovation and parlor expansion  Audio system upgrade (Only available above $6 Million)

Funding Level Required

Completed Funding secured Ensured at $5.5 million Ensured at $6.0 million


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


With your help so far, we’ve built a brand new, world-class arts facility for the next generation to elevate the presentation of film to another 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—has become FilmScene’s landmark home.
  Three new cinemas, seating over 225 moviegoers  Flexible space for educational programming  Programming expansion through increased showtimes, community partnerships, and films  Cutting-edge picture and sound  35mm and 16mm film presentation   Enhanced comfort and expanded food & drink

FilmScene’s share of additional funding above $6 million will be put towards ownership of the facility by FilmScene to ensure organizational stability and secure the future of film as an art form in Iowa City.

Festival Investments

  With expanded cinema facilities, we will launch Refocus Film Festival in the fall of 2021. Pushing boundaries in multidiscplinary film exhibition and presenting films inspired by and adapted from other art forms, especially text, Refocus will be a unique film event for our City of Literature.  Continued nurturing of the Englert’s two annual festivals: the literature and music mainstay Mission Creek Festival and Witching Hour, which explores the creative process.

Funding Level Required

Completed Funding secured Ensured at $5.5 million Ensured at $6.0 million


$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

Our organizations have received support to research and improve arts access and engagement for school districts and communities throughout Johnson County.

Community Engagement Initiative

We seek to further this work with an arts education collaboration. 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.

We helped launch the Iowa City Downtown Arts Alliance and will expand our collaborative efforts, using this campaign as a case study, to 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.

Funding Level Required

Completed Funding secured Ensured at $5.5 million Ensured at $6.0 million


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.

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 katie@strengthengrowevolve.org.


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

Hans House, Chair
Will Downing, Vice Chair
Jake Nelson, Secretary
Chris Ameling, Treasurer
Molly Bagnall
Danica Bird
Karen Chappell, Past Chair
Trevon Coleman
Corey Creekmur
Evan Evans
David Gould
Tommy Haines
Adam Ingersoll
Uri Lessing
Nina Lohman
T.J. Dedeaux-Norris
Kembrew McLeod
Ryan O’Leary
Andre Perry
Royceann Porter
Sarah Russett
Anna Stone
Steven Ungar
Nick Westergaard
Harry Westergaard
Lynn Weinstein

Englert Board of Directors

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