Stuart’s Opera House Announces “Next Stage” Capital Campaign

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Stuart’s Opera House officially announced the public phase of its $4 million expansion capital campaign during a July 25 kickoff event. The campaign aims to ensure the organizational and financial stability of the opera house, and allow the Nelsonville performing arts center to provide more services to the community.

The future of Stuart’s Opera House includes an ever expanding schedule, innovative new programs, and targeted initiatives designed to better serve area residents.

However, these plans creates a significant challenge: space. According to Stuart’s Executive Director Tim Peacock, areas used for after-school educational programs, receptions, rehearsals, and stage events have reached their capacity.

“We are at a saturation point; something needs to be done if we are to take Stuart’s to the next level,” he said. “The demand is growing, and we must be able to keep pace with it. We cannot do that with the space we have right now.”

With an overall goal of $4 million dollars, $3,103,900 has been raised so far for the Next Stage capital campaign. The campaign will support a lobby expansion, “The Baird Brothers Company Foundation Lobby,” that will add to the comfort of patrons, enhance the ability to host special events and receptions.

An improvements initiative to utilize the heretofore-unused space in the adjacent building for new educational programming which will feature the “Osteopathic Heritage Foundations Education Center” as well as for backstage, storage and rehearsal facilities. Also planned over a longer term is the establishment of an operating endowment that will help provide financial support to this venerable organization for generations to come.

The Baird Brothers Company Foundation, The Osteopathic Heritage Foundations, the O’Bleness Foundation, Rocky Brands and many individuals have already contributed to the campaign.

Stuart’s Opera House is the cornerstone of the public square in Nelsonville Ohio and has been a part of the Southeast Ohio town since the boom times of coal mining in the 19th century.

For the past 10 years, the Opera House has seen growth, prosperity, culture and fun. Today, Stuart’s is recognized as the premier performing arts center in Southeast Ohio.

Currently, the facility hosts more than 75 events a year, including live music, theater, visual art, educational programming, film, dance and more. In addition to events at the Opera House, Stuart’s also presents the annual Nelsonville Music Festival.

For more information about the Next Stage Capital Campaign, visit or contact Emily Prince, Stuart’s Opera House development director, at 740-753-1924 or