Hillsboro, OR – Offering “naming rights” is a fairly traditional way of attracting major donors to a project; just think of the MODA Center or the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. But sometimes, a business or individual is excited about naming rights opportunities for reasons other than branding or family name recognition – and that is what happened with Bag&Baggage and the naming rights for their new performance home in downtown Hillsboro.
After lengthy discussion and negotiation, an anonymous donor has stepped forward with a six-figure donation to Bag&Baggage’s capital campaign to secure the permanent naming rights to the building.
In honor of the building’s previous history as a bank, the anonymous donor has chosen The Vault Theater and Event Space as the permanent name for B&B’s new home.
“We are both thrilled and extremely grateful,” said Scott Palmer, B&B’s Founding Artistic Director. “Not only does the name reflect our building’s heritage and unique character, but it is also just a really catchy, memorable name for the space.”
As the professional theatre company has grown, and with the potential sale of their previous venue, The Venetian Theatre, looming, B&B spent the last three years focused on finding a permanent home that would keep them in downtown Hillsboro. With the assistance of the City of Hillsboro, Bag&Baggage purchased the former Wells Fargo Bank building about 18 months ago and began a $1.5 million capital campaign to remodel the building into a state-of-the-art studio theatre, administrative home, and wine bar. With the generous naming rights donation, B&B has raised more than $1,450,000 of their $1,500,000 goal.
“We are expecting a few more grants and donations to come in over the next few weeks, so with the naming rights for the building secured, we have just 2% of the total project left to raise,” said Palmer. “That means we need to find another $40,000 or so in the next few months to finally put the campaign to rest.”
There are still other naming rights opportunities available for interested donors, including the dressing rooms, bar, and stage. “We could end this campaign today if someone stepped forward with a $40,000 check, and we’d be happy to name a part of our building after them or their company in a heartbeat,” said Palmer.
Of particular interest to the naming rights donor was B&B’s decision to retain the bank building’s original vault door as part of the ongoing refurbishment. “Once the donor had a chance to walk through the space, and see the amazing 1940s era bank vault door that is still a part of the building, we knew we were on to something,” said Palmer. “Not unlike our friends at Portland Center Stage who call their venue The Armory, having a different name for the building helps us keep our work as a theatre company separate from other performances and events that take place in our home.”
For example, rather than having other performing arts groups or renters say, “We are doing our show or event at Bag&Baggage’s new home in Hillsboro,” they can simply say, “we will be performing at The Vault in Hillsboro.”
Bag&Baggage will be launching a dedicated website for the venue in the coming weeks, www.vaulttheater.com, which will include information on rental rates, the various seating capacities, and available amenities. “We have already been inundated with calls from people wanting to rent the space for events and functions,” said Palmer. “A number of non-profit performing arts groups are interested in coming out to perform in the building, too.”
Construction on the building is projected to end in late June, followed by six weeks of theatre technology installation. Bag&Baggage will open the building with their first indoor performance of the 17-18 Season in September of 2017. “We have already planned about a week’s worth of opening week events, including parties, performances, and an open-house for the community.” Opening week details will be posted online on the Bag&Baggage website, bagnbaggage.org.
# # #
ABOUT BAG&BAGGAGE PRODUCTIONS: Bag&Baggage Productions is Hillsboro’s only professional theatre company. B&B is committed to innovative and provocative new interpretations of the classics of American and English drama, bringing surprising new insight to stories and writers from our past. Led by Hillsboro native Scott Palmer, B&B is one of the largest non-profit cultural organizations in Hillsboro, has gained an international reputation for excellence, and regularly attracts audiences of more than 18,000 to the company’s six-show season.