Columbia Theatre receives donation

Photo provided by TONYA LOWENTRITT -- Columbia Theatre receives donation -- Officials with Southeastern Louisiana University, the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts Advisory Board, and the Tangipahoa Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau gathered together for a check presentation at the theatre. Pictured are, from left, Terry Brown Sr., Nita Vedros, Kathy Dale Forrest, CVB Director Betty Stewart, Tony Ardillo, CVB Chairman Buddy Pugh, Southeastern President John L. Crain, Columbia Interim Director C. Roy Blackwood, Columbia Board members Marjorie Morrison, Gina Anton, Patty Hubert, Eric Summers, Bonnie Barriloux and Mary Jo Greaves.
Photo provided by TONYA LOWENTRITT -- Columbia Theatre receives donation -- Officials with Southeastern Louisiana University, the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts Advisory Board, and the Tangipahoa Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau gathered together for a check presentation at the theatre. Pictured are, from left, Terry Brown Sr., Nita Vedros, Kathy Dale Forrest, CVB Director Betty Stewart, Tony Ardillo, CVB Chairman Buddy Pugh, Southeastern President John L. Crain, Columbia Interim Director C. Roy Blackwood, Columbia Board members Marjorie Morrison, Gina Anton, Patty Hubert, Eric Summers, Bonnie Barriloux and Mary Jo Greaves.

The Tangipahoa Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau has donated $100,000 to Southeastern Louisiana University’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts to help the theatre continue to bring quality entertainment to the parish and region, bureau fficials said.

The money will be used to increase attendance, from Baton Rouge to Slidell, and will allow the Columbia to more aggressively market performances in corresponding media markets, bureau said.

“Our goal and primary function is to bring in more tourists to visit and spend time in our great parish,” said Carla Tate, head of marketing for the Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We are incredibly proud of the Columbia. It is an important asset that can bring more tourists to experience the great things the theatre itself can offer, but also give the opportunity for visitors to spend time in Hammond and the greater Tangipahoa area. We hope that this investment enables the Columbia to continue to be a strong presence in the parish for culture and arts.”

“We are very appreciative of this investment in the Columbia,” said C. Roy Blackwood, professor of art and interim director of the theatre. “It will help in so many ways. The Columbia Theatre is a regional treasure that can continue to serve as an artistic and performance centerpiece for Hammond, Tangipahoa Parish and the entire North Shore.”

“With committed partners like the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Southeastern can build strong institutional ties to the community,” said Wendy Lauderdale, vice president of University Advancement. “One of the tenets of our mission is to lead the economic and cultural development of the region. This gift helps us continue to be a strong participant and leader in this endeavor.”