News & Updates
February | 2020
134 Chestnut St. Approved for Demolition
On January 13, 2020, the Holyoke Historic Commission reviewed MIFA's demolition applications and has approved the planned demo of 134 Chestnut Street. The property, which adjoins the back of the theater, was acquired on November 5, 2019. An annex to the theater will be added in its place to increase dressing rooms, systems and production services, utilities, office, security and management space, along with a loading dock with capacity for the large-scale shows the Victory will host.
Holyoke Community Leaders Weigh In
Holyoke community leaders show their support for the Victory Theatre Project in a letter to Governor Baker. Led by Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, the letter was also signed by Holyoke Community College President Christina Royal, Enchanted Circle Theater Executive Artistic Director Priscilla Kane Hellweg, Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce Chairman Kevin McCaffrey, Holyoke Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Zrike, and Holyoke Health Center CEO Jay Breines.

Excerpt: "The revenue and energy that the Victory Theatre will bring to Holyoke will be a powerful catalyst for the business and housing development already underway in downtown Holyoke. Programming that an active Victory Theatre can support will provide a powerful spark to the nascent local cultural arts organizations seeking a venue to bring their creativity to a larger audience. The Victory and its ancillary facilities will also be an invaluable complement to the arts education programs of the surrounding Colleges and Universities. It will provide an unmatchable training opportunity in all the behind-the-curtain aspects of the growing performing arts & entertainment industry. Most importantly, it will establish a world-class Tourism Anchor in Holyoke for the region and the state."
Project Profiles
MIFA Victory Theatre Capital Campaign Consultant Susan Palmer
Susan Palmer, Principal of The Palmer Westport Group , focuses on strengthening and developing the fundraising and leadership capacity of historic theaters around the U.S. including Proctors Theatre, Schenectady, NY; Loew's Jersey Theatre, Jersey City, NJ ; and T he Stanley Theatre, Utica, NY. Palmer is the former Executive Director of The Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield, MA; a co-founder of Barrington Stage Company; managing director of The Berkshire Theatre Festival; Information Systems Manager at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival; and Director of Major Gifts at WGBY Public Television. She is currently working with MIFA on its Capital Campaign.
MIFA Victory Theatre Government and Finance Adviser Steve Adams
Steve Adams was named President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts in 2019. Adams has been an advisor to MIFA since 2016. He led the MIFA financial Charrette brainstorming sessions with community leaders and is advising on Opportunity Zones for the Victory Theatre Project. For over 20 years, Adams has managed and participated in public/private collaborations that leveraged civic energy and philanthropic support to meet the needs of disadvantaged businesses, individuals, and communities.
Support Live Theater: Moulin Rouge Producers visit the Victory
MIFA's Executive Artistic Director Don Sanders and Government Relations/ Development consultant Linda Matys O'Connell joined the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) and other theater presenters and advocates at Emerson Colonial Theatre in Boston, in support of proposed legislation supporting live theater productions in Massachusetts.

Emerson Colonial Theatre /Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), is the driving force behind this bill and producers of the highly successful "Moulin Rouge! The Musical," came to Holyoke for a tour of the Victory Theatre. The group included Ambassador Theatre Group's General Manager Erica Lynn Schwartz and Deputy General Manager Joey Riddle, O'Neill and Associates's Vice Charman Matthew Irish, Sen. Eric Lesser, Rep. Aaron Vega, Holyoke Mayor's Office Chief-of-Staff Mike Bloomberg, OneHolyoke CDC's Michael Moriarty, Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce Chair Kevin
McCaffrey, MIFA's Tax Credit Financing Consultant Barbara Sokoloff, MIFA's Construction Manager Bill Aquadro, and Victory Theatre donor Diane Troderman. Having this connection to Boston and ATG, one of the world's number one live-theatre companies, puts the Victory in the forefront of providing the best entertainment possible.
See the great things the Emerson Colonial is presenting here: www.emersoncolonialtheatre.com
See more photos of ATG visit here: Victory Tour 2020
House Bill 4149 would create a five-year tax credit pilot program for pre-Broadway shows, pre-off Broadway productions and national tour launches in Massachusetts, bringing economic stimulus and drawing first-class talent and programming to the Commonwealth. The bill is currently pending before legislators at the State House.

A Piece of History - Vincent Maragliotti murals
Did you know that the 1942 murals flanking the Victory's stage were the work of noted WPA artist Vincent Maragliotti of Maragliotti Studios at Grand Central Terminal Building, NYC? Maragliotti was also responsible for all of the decorative treatment of the theater's interior after the 1942 fire, creating "a place of restful beauty and comfort," - Nathan Goldstein, President of Western Mass. Theaters, Inc., Holyoke Transcript-Telegram, on August 13, 1942.

The left mural depicts images of Lucifer and Mars, the symbol of war juxtaposed against Liberty, Peace and Justice on the right mural. The murals are particularly special for their timely depiction of war and possible defeat, on the one hand, and the hope of Victory on the other. When they were painted in 1942, victory in WWII was in no way certain, thus the frightening scenes of war in the left panel are particularly significant both historically and artistically.  Read full description of murals here: www.mifafestival.org

On January 15, 2020, MIFA made a presentation at the Holyoke Community Preservation Committee 's public hearing to support our application for funds from the Community Preservation Act. The application requests $100K towards the restoration and reinstallation of these amazing murals. Last year we were pleased to receive $100K in CPA funds to restore the Victory’s historic wall sconces.

The murals will be restored and re-installed by  VK Restoration  of Holyoke, and the proscenium surrounding walls will be restored by  EverGreene Architectural Arts of NYC.
"Just another example of the amazing things we have in Holyoke." - Don Sanders
Read more about the Maragliotti murals here: mifafestival.org/victory-theatre/vincent-maragliotti-murals
Financial Charrettes
MIFA has held three Financial Charrettes, hosted by Holyoke Community College, at the MGM Culinary Arts Institute, 164 Race Street Holyoke. Led by MIFA's Government and Finance Advisor Steve Adams, the objective of these Charrettes was to bring together groups of financial thinkers to brainstorm capital investment strategies for the Victory Theatre that leverage the considerable assets ($30 Million) already in place to allow construction to begin and to demonstrate the viability for additional philanthropic support.
Participants:  Rep. Joseph Wagner, Evan Plotkin, Amy Jamrog, Susan Knightly, Jeff Hayden, Delcie Bean, Carl Eger, Dianne Doherty, A.J. Crane, Julie Cowan, Paul Boudreau, John Goodhue, Jim Ayres, Denis Luzuriaga, Toby Wilson, Jeff Trask
MIFA :  Don Sanders, Kathy McKean, Barbara Sokoloff, Susan Palmer, Linda Matys O'Connell

Facilitators: Steve Adams, Jeff Hayden
Spring Season 2020
MIFA continues the celebration of its 25th Anniversary with the upcoming spring/summer season! ~ Tickets Coming Soon!
The international traveling exhibition comes to Holyoke High School from Amsterdam's Anne Frank House. The exhibit accompanies the National Players production
The Diary of Anne Frank
The National Players, America's longest-running touring company, performance of
By Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. Adapted by Wendy Kesselman
The 2020 Victory Players residency and concerts (May 26 – June 7) the third phase of “El Puerto Rico, The Rich Port,” featuring completed commissions by composers
New Latinx Theater Production Coming Fall 2020!
4th in our series of exciting, fully staged, professional theater productions visiting Holyoke. More to come!
In Case You Missed It!
A Winter W onderland
MIFA Government Relations/ Development Consultant Linda Matys O’Connell interview with Sabi Varga, choreographer and featured dancer in a music video "The Starling , " music by: The Well Pennies that was filmed at the Victory Theatre, Holyoke!
Old Photo Donation circa 1930s
We received a wonderful donation of old Victory Theatre photos (circa 1930s) from former theater manager George Laby's son Ira Laby and nephew Daniel M. Laby, MD!
MIFA will be posting them periodically throughout the year. on our Facebook and Instagram. If you don't already, 'Follow', 'Like' and "Connect" with us!