Funding for Vinegar Hill


Light House Studio Launches Capital Campaign To Create Virginia’s Largest Youth Film Arts Center

Charlottesville, VA – Wednesday, May 20, 2015 – Light House Studio, a nationally recognized nonprofit filmmaking center for youth in central Virginia, today announced that foundations and individuals have come together to launch a campaign to financially support the transformation of a culturally significant property, Vinegar Hill Theatre, into a new film arts center. This funding announcement coincides with the purchase of Vinegar Hill Theatre and ushers in a new era for Light House Studio.

Foundations and Philanthropists Come Together
Light House Studio has raised $1 million of its $2.6 million goal to create the largest youth filmmaking center in Virginia. Through the support of foundations and individuals, Light House Studio has purchased Vinegar Hill Theatre and looks to the future to meet the needs of the community and the growing interests of the students from across Virginia in film production. The following Charlottesville Area Community Foundation Funds: Worrell/Chapman Family Fund, Birdsall Family Fund, Batten Family Fund and the Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band have all provided significant and early support for the purchase and renovation of Vinegar Hill Theatre. The Perry Foundation has also taken a leading role. The Perry Foundation is calling upon the community to become involved in Light House Studio’s future by providing a matching grant of $250K towards the transformation and expansion of the facilities. In addition, the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation is awarding a $50K matching grant towards this effort.

The Light House Studio campaign also includes a preservation fund to secure the Theatre’s conservation and Light House Studio’s future for generations to come. The Batten Family Fund is spearheading the preservation fund with a $50K matching grant.

“We are pleased to have the support of individuals interested in film arts, those committed to the preservation of Vinegar Hill Theatre, a beloved Charlottesville landmark, and donors and foundations dedicated to arts education,” said Deanna Gould, the Executive Director of Light House Studio. “Together we are bringing new life to Vinegar Hill Theatre by transforming it into a youth filmmaking center to serve Virginia.”

Light House Studio
For sixteen years, Light House Studio has guided the creation of documentary, dramatic and animated films and pioneered a mentor-based approach to teaching the art of filmmaking. As an award-winning film education center, Light House Studio is dedicated to helping students develop their vision, create unique productions and publically show their work. Since 1999, Light House Studio has brought young people together to learn the art of filmmaking. The organization provides workshops taught by professional filmmakers, access for youth to production studios, a rich library that includes DVD and literary resources and exhibition opportunities to young people, enabling them to learn, by hand, the pervasive language of motion pictures and sound. This year alone Light House Studio mentors taught 70 workshops engaging more than 900 students from over 50 schools.

Vinegar Hill Theatre Owner Partners to Guide Future
Light House Studio will continue the legacy of Vinegar Hill Theatre as a venue for creativity and community engagement, while offering programming for children and teenagers in the art of film production. With the purchase and renovation of the Vinegar Hill Theatre, Light House Studio will expand its studio production space, develop new editing bays and offer a permanent screening theatre for the more than 150 films produced each year by its students.

Ann Porotti, Vinegar Hill Theatre’s former proprietor, commented, “Vinegar Hill Theatre and its younger sibling, L’Avventura Restaurant, were for me like a great pair of expensive boots. You want them, you buy them, you love them and they carry you into a life you could not have dreamed. Over the years, they see the world with you, ignite a local film community, and unveil the simple mysteries of Italian food. Millions of movies, and many bowls of bucatini amatriciana later, these boots–that stood the rigors of running two small businesses in corporate America–are frayed and tired.” Ann continued, “I know that Light House Studio has multiple pairs of work boots that will carry them into realms of artistic excitement, at the building on the ‘edge’ of Charlottesville’s Downtown. There is an arts mission in 220 West Market Street’s DNA.”

About Light House Studio
Light House Studio was founded in 1999 by a group of Charlottesville, VA filmmakers, artists and educators. Since the creation of the first “Video Diary,” Light House Studio has helped youth create thousands of documentary, drama and animated films. Student work has been broadcast on PBS, CNN and Public Access Television. Work has been exhibited at The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia and Second Street Gallery, among others. Light House films have been shown in festivals all over the United States. Several Light House Studio students have received national awards for their films, including a Peabody Award, a Gold World Medal at the New York International TV and Film Festival and a Golden Cine Eagle Award. Find out more about supporting Light House Studio’s Vinegar Hill Campaign.