Updated March 28, 2:38 p.m.
Two Katy artists are working to raise money to build a 21,000-square-foot, 400-seat performance venue in Katy that would be a home to community theater, arts education and choir and symphony concerts.
For the past six years, Andrew Noyes and Debbie Siebert have worked to form a nonprofit and raise money for the $5 million Katy Grand Theatre.
The pair have embarked on the campaign because, they said, Katy does not have a dedicated professional performance space.
“People do their best and try to rent churches, but [performing arts] can’t really flourish without the venue,” Siebert said.
The duo is hoping to open the theater in late summer 2018, breaking ground as soon as it achieves its fundraising goals.
Since forming the Noyes Fine Arts Foundation in 2011 to create the theater, Noyes and Siebert have obtained a commitment for a 90-percent guaranteed $3 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“We established a nonprofit, and then we said, ‘OK, how are we going to pay for this?’” Noyes said.
“It was said that Katy tried this before; Katy might not be as open to the arts. But we [didn’t] believe that.”
The USDA has a funding mechanism to support initiatives in rural areas that would improve the community, including artistic endeavors.
Although the Katy area has a population of more than 300,000 people, the theater would be considered a rural project if it was built within the Katy city limits because of its population of about 15,000 people, Noyes said.
Because of that stipulation, Noyes and Siebert picked out land for the venue near Katy Mills—inside city limits—for the building.
The USDA loan will be released to the NFAF if Noyes and Siebert raise $400,000 by September.
The foundation recently launched the Katy Grand Theatre Project Capital Campaign and is getting ready for the first fundraising event, the Puttin’ on the Ritz Gala, April 29.
Noyes and Siebert have a goal of breaking ground on the theater in summer 2017.
Once open, the venue would be home to existing NFAF programs including the Katy Youth Choir and the Katy Youth Symphony and Book Bash, which adapts children’s literature into musicals.
Future programming would also include performance opportunities for adults with family-friendly musical productions.
“We’re also not being territorial,” Siebert said. “People here, and all those ensembles and things, can rent the building.”
Noyes, who has acted, produced and directed in TV, film and theater productions, would be the executive director of the theater. Siebert—an opera singer—would be the theater’s artistic director.
Noyes said the foundation has raised more than $60,000 so far.
“There’s no doubt that Katy needs a professional-style performing arts center that’s available to the community,” Noyes said.
Updated with correct opening date.