Old Sol submits proposal for performing arts center on Amherst Street

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MANCHESTER, NH — On March 15 Matt and Jody Wilhelm, Manchester residents and members of Old Sol Productions, LLC, submitted a proposal to the Manchester Development Corporation to purchase, renovate, and reopen the former Rex Theatre (23 Amherst St., Manchester) as Old Sol Music Hall, a not-for-profit, mid-size performing arts venue and community center [see a video of the session above.]

According to Will Craig, director of the city’s office of Economic Development, the proposal for Old Sol was the only one received by the March 15 deadline, after a call for proposals was put out by the city.

In preparation for the proposal, Old Sol hosted a Community Visioning Session on Saturday, March 5 at the NH Institute of Art to generate ideas and solicit feedback on their plan. Approximately 120 people attended, representing a cross-section of the Greater Manchester community: students and young professionals, community activists, business and political leaders, and representatives from other local/state arts organizations.

Community members contributed ideas for way to give back to the community through the music hall project.

Old Sol expects to hear back from the Manchester Development Corporation in the coming weeks.

In November, Old Sol won the 2015 NH Social Venture Innovation Challenge for its proposal to create a cultural venue that not only presents entertainment, but also builds social capital through civic engagement and, in turn, helps to attract and retain NH’s Millennial workforce. In addition to providing a much-needed, mid-size performance space in downtown Manchester, Old Sol is confident that it will contribute positively to the city and state’s long-term economic forecast.

To learn more about Old Sol Music Hall, please visit OldSol.org.

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