Brenda Nienhouse: 16 to Watch in 2016 in RI
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
their new Executive Director to “direct and manage the restoration and revitalization of Newport’s historic Opera House to bring year-round performing arts and arts education to downtown Newport” — which is slated to re=open in 2017.
Constructed in 1867, Newport’s Opera House Theater is among the 10 oldest surviving opera houses in America and the oldest surviving theater building in Rhode Island. Nienhouse comes to Newport after overseeing a $30 million capital campaign as Executive Director of the Fox Theater in Spokane, Washington — and when the Spokane Fox reopened in 2007, it received numerous awards including the prestigious National Trust for Historic Preservation National Preservation Award.
The Newport Opera House was one of eight arts organizations across the state that benefited from the passage of a $35 million bond referendum in 2014 — and the coalition of supporters of the improvements made to those facilities say the state funding is a creating nearly 600 permanent jobs, 600 temporary jobs and adding $47 million in annual economic activity to the sector.
2016 will be a big year for planning — and fundraising — as the Newport Opera House gears up to reopen its doors in 2017.