With the support of the Omaha community, the Benson Theatre Project raised more than $50,000 in cash and in-kind donations during Phase I of fundraising. The project aims to acquire and restore the historic Benson Theatre at 6054 Maple Street to serve as a cultural center with educational programming, workshops and seminars during the day and entertainment in the evening.

Led by Pizza Shoppe owner Amy Ryan, the Benson Theatre Project leased the theater building in Spring 2012. The Benson Theatre was granted 501©3 nonprofit status from the IRS in September.

Phase II of fundraising is now underway, and the organization is looking for an initial $50,000 to finance the purchase of the building by spring 2013.  Former Nebraska State Senator Shelley Kiel is serving as president of the Benson Board of Directors.

For more information about the Benson Theatre, please call (402) 578-8175 or visit: www.bensontheatre.org.