The MVFA was formed in 1989 under John Dowdall’s directive as a non-profit arts support group who’s focus was to provide a performance venue for The Port Polson Players Theatre.
The Board of Directors is all-volunteer, with no salaries paid. MVFA targets all membership revenue directly into maintenance and renovation of the John Dowdall Theatre. These funds, supplemented by donations, in-kind goods and services, and a few grants have put over $200,000 in improvements into the city-owned building, with no burden on the local tax structure. MVFA’s lease on the 1938 building was recently extended to 2040.
In turn, the Theatre is home to countless performance events throughout the years, including summer stock, community theatre, children’s camps, and concerts; the Players perform seven of ten shows per season in the 1938 log building.
Over the years, renovations have included bathrooms, kitchen, carpeting, a ten-phase electrical upgrade, security system, asbestos removal, new stairs and handicap accessibility, landscaping, signage, heating and air conditioning, rechinking, painting and staining, stucco repair, new energy-efficient doors and windows, and a new roof.
“But it’s like owning a house,” said MVFA President Dennis Anderson. “You never run out of things to do. There are lots of improvements yet to come, as the John Dowdall Theatre is nearly 75 years old. We still need help to maintain our focus of accessibility, safety and comfort for all our terrific patrons.”
Contributions to MVFA are tax-deductible as the organization has a 501 C (3) status. Donations can be made in any of seven different categories, ranging from $10 Sailor to $1000-and-above Admiral, as well as memorials. Members receive a membership card good for $1.00 off all regularly-scheduled Port Polson Players performances, listing in all performance programs, and the annual newsletter, Footnotes from the Footlights.
Donations can be made by mail to MVFA, PO Box 1156, Polson MT 59860. A receipt will then be mailed for tax purposes. And, with inclusion of an e-mail address, MVFA members are now a mouse-click away from up-to-the-minute event announcements.