Bring Magic Back to Downtown Portland
Northwest Children’s Theater (NWCT) has been a pillar of Portland’s creative community for 30 years, presenting colorful, engaging, magical plays that kindle a lifelong love of theater. Their doors are wide open to every Portland family, and children are encouraged to see the theater as their own, both on stage and behind the scenes. This means prioritizing the child's perspective and emphasizing representation onstage and off. It means creating a program where no one is ever turned away for lack of funds, with many programs offered free to all, so that economics plays no part in deciding a child’s creative trajectory. In a normal year, NWCT offers multiple professional productions, a year-round theater school, hundreds of school partnerships and residencies, and a robust pre-professional training program.
In its history, NWCT has educated and entertained more than 1 million children, parents, grandparents, teachers, and students. Now is the moment to secure that impact for the next generation with the creation of their new home. Located in downtown Portland, across the street from the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, their new home — The Judy — will welcome families back to the heart of our city, grow NWCT’s mission, and guarantee a magical, inviting space for every child to grow, dream, and develop essential life skills.
The Judy will feature a 240-seat theater, 120-seat black box, multiple classroom studios, and a new 190-seat family cinema for classic musicals, movie sing-a-longs, birthday parties, and more! With onsite maker space, improved concessions, and an attached parking garage, this new home will allow NWCT to grow their programs while also providing generous rental and partnership opportunities. The Judy is projected to open in April of 2023.
Overall, this capital project calls for a budget of approximately $6.3 million. This includes all renovation costs, project staff, new equipment, contingency, and operating reserves. NWCT is in a strong position to reach the finish line, with $5.1 already raised. During the month of December, donors can double their impact: Tom and Chris Neilsen have issued a $50,000 challenge match for NWCT’s 1000 Broadway campaign. Between now and the end of the year, they will match any gift to the capital campaign, dollar for dollar, up to $50,000 total.
Be a part of revitalizing downtown Portland and help more families experience theater magic by supporting NWCT’s campaign to create a one-of-a-kind youth arts center. Donate today at https://nwcts.org/move.