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Howmet Aerospace Foundation bestows $250,000 gift to Frauenthal Preservation Campaign Fund

Howmet Aerospace Foundation is taking part in the preservation and renovation of the Frauenthal Theater through a $250,000 grant to the Frauenthal Preservation Campaign Fund, an effort spearheaded by local leaders and the Community Foundation for Muskegon County.

Earlier this fall, the Frauenthal Theater celebrated 90 years as the cornerstone of downtown Muskegon. After decades of steady use, this historic West Michigan landmark is showing signs of age and wear. Those involved in the campaign see this as an opportunity to preserve not only the Frauenthal Theater itself, but also the heart and soul of the Lakeshore.

The Howmet Aerospace Foundation shares that vision. It operates as an independently endowed foundation and is the charitable arm of the Howmet Aerospace company. While it invests in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education and workforce development issues at the corporate level, the foundation directs a significant portion of its grant making each year to the company’s operating locations. It is this philosophy that led to this incredibly important and timely gift to the Frauenthal Preservation Campaign Fund.

“With the Howmet name once again a part of our corporate identity, we wanted to underscore our legacy of supporting the Muskegon County community,” said Amy Heisser, director of Human Resources, Aero North for Howmet Aerospace. Heisser also serves as one of two campaign co-chairs for the effort. “We can’t think of a better way to do that than by providing a grant to the preservation fund for the Frauenthal Theater, which truly anchors our community’s downtown and vibrant arts scene.”

The Frauenthal Center operates as part of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County. Continuing to improve the quality of life for community residents, the Community Foundation remains committed to the Frauenthal Center and its future development.

“This is an exciting time for West Michigan as we prepare the Frauenthal Theater to continue as a cornerstone for community enrichment and entertainment, sparking economic vitality well into the future,” said Eric Messing, Executive Director of the Frauenthal Center.

The Community Foundation has identified more than $7 million in fundamental structural, renovation and preservation needs that are critical to the theater’s future and use. This needed investment will enhance the experience of patrons and ensure its place in the community for future generations. The funds will help address needs within the theater itself, the Third Street and Western Avenue lobbies, and the overall preservation of the exterior of the building. Once its renovation is complete, the theater’s marquee will be renamed for Howmet Aerospace in honor of their donation.

“We are very grateful to receive this incredible grant and to partner with the Howmet Aerospace Foundation,” added Todd Jacobs, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County. “We are proud to be working toward the preservation of the Frauenthal Theater together. It’s generosity like this that makes our vision ‘to build a vibrant community with great opportunities for all’ a reality.”

The Frauenthal Center serves as home to the West Michigan Symphony, Muskegon Civic Theatre, Mona Shores’ Singing Christmas Tree, MCC’s Downtown Live Concert Series, The Miss Michigan Scholarship Program and more. In addition, the Frauenthal Center presents their own variety of entertainment offerings as well as host to dozens of weddings and private events throughout the year. Visit the Frauenthal Center website for more information.