The Ramsdell has been awarded funding from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA). Some of that funding comes from the federal government, the National Endowment for the Arts. So, it’s important to recognize how both government institutions are impacting arts organizations across the state of Michigan, and we’re fortunate to be one of those recipients. We are also welcoming support from individuals to match the funds needed to complete the capital improvement project.
For the fiscal year 2021 (FY21), we applied and received funds for operational support and capital improvement. I’m going to tell you about our capital improvement project (sound upgrades).
Capital Improvement is project-specific. We’ve looked into sound upgrades in the theatre to address our hard-of-hearing system, upgrade 20-year-old equipment, improve our sound coverage and service. Your match would help support
- Meeting ADA guidelines – we need to get up to code with the American Disabilities Act (ADA). We have four FM transmitters for people that are hard-of-hearing, but it’s not enough to meet ADA guidelines. So, the best thing to do is to buy more FM transmitters. However, it’s not the most efficient. Ever heard of an induction loop system? It’s a device that produces sound waves that are picked up by hearing aids. See the picture below on the left. If your hearing aid has a T-coil setting on it (and 70% of the hearing aids in the market do), then all you have to do is switch it to that setting, and eureka!
- Better sound coverage – several things we are looking at (amplifier, speakers, and wireless microphones) – Most of the system is old and upgrading will help us meet today’s standards. Also, the coverage in the theatre right now is not optimal. The picture below in the middle represents blotchy and uneven coverage that we’re trying to even out.
- New and updated equipment – some equipment, like our wireless microphones, we can’t use anymore. Why? Well, the FCC changed the rules a couple of years ago that made the frequency we (and every other theatre) use illegal. So, we have to upgrade, and we need more of them. With 12 new wireless microphones, we can offer better services to groups like the Manistee Civic Players, who depend on this technology for musicals. The picture below on the right shows the wireless headsets that are standard for plays and musicals.
Improvements in all of these areas will benefit the patrons’ experience. Your support would impact the service to theatre users (groups like the Manistee Civic Players and Conservatory of Dance, benefit from these improvements. Make it possible. Make a gift.