The new Connie Gotsch Theatre officially opens to the public. Newly renovated venue named after long time local talent and arts advocate, Connie Gotsch.
San Juan College and the San Juan College Foundation hosted the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the Connie Gotsch Theatre in September. The Connie Gotsch Theatre, formally known as the Little Theatre, was recently renamed when the Connie Gotsch Arts Foundation (CGAF), San Juan College and several private donors renovated the theater.
The Legacy of Connie Gotsch at San Juan College
Connie Gotsch worked at the College’s radio station, KSJE 90.9 FM, from 1990 to 2012. The Connie Gotsch Arts Foundation was established in honor of Connie Gotsch in 2013, the year after her death. The mission of the Foundation is to support the arts and artists of San Juan County.
“Connie’s wishes were to keep her passion for the arts alive in San Juan County by using her estate to create a foundation to support arts and artists,” says Cathy Pope, treasurer of the Connie Gotsch Arts Foundation. “I am honored to have helped create the foundation and serve on the board. The Foundation has been able to help local students, teachers, artists, musicians and art groups with a myriad of arts related programs.”
Grand Opening Showcased Renovation Work by SJC Staff and Local Businesses
During the grand opening, guests were taken on guided tours while several community members and CGAF members played the theme song for Roving with the Arts, the radio program Gotsch hosted for many years. The art-deco inspired lobby has richly embellished designs, accentuated with gleaming metal accents. The lobby also houses a display case honoring the work of Connie Gotsch. Included in the display are books written by her, awards that she earned and some of her personal photos.
The theater was originally built in 1974. The 7,770 square-foot theater includes a newly remodeled lobby, ticket booth and dressing rooms. Also encompassed in the renovation is new carpet, tile, 294 auditorium seats, with upgrades including new house and stage lighting, and a modern TV and video system.
San Juan College’s Physical Plant staff assisted in the renovation, and Physical Plant Senior Director Chris Harrelson served as the project manager. The floor work was installed by Angel’s Flooring, the lobby design was completed by Steven Neilsen, while Beck TOI designed and installed the auditorium seats. Electrical work was completed by Ross Wes. The general contractor for the renovation project was Winters Construction. The total cost for the remodel was $718,551.
New Theatre has a Bright Future
“Thanks to the generosity of the Connie Gotsch Arts Foundation, the Little Theatre has been beautifully redone and renamed after 35 years,” exclaims San Juan College Foundation Executive Director Gayle Dean. “Our Physical Plant, under the leadership of Chris Harrelson, and the San Juan College Foundation partnered with the Connie Gotsch Arts Foundation to create a space that will serve our community for decades to come. Additionally, the Connie Gotsch Arts Foundation created a San Juan College Foundation endowment which will provide for the Connie Gotsch Theatre and the entire SJC Fine Arts department in perpetuity. It is with untold pride that we unveil this legacy to our own Connie Gotsch and her Foundation.”
The Connie Gotsch Theatre will host San Juan College events, as well as community events. In addition to the renovation, the Connie Gotsch Arts Foundation also established an endowment to support the fine arts programs at San Juan College and to allow non-profit organizations to utilize the facility free of charge. For information about utilizing the Connie Gotsch Theatre for events, contact SJC Scheduling Services at 505-566-3296.
November 1, 2023
January 23, 2023