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Thalia Mara Hall Renovations

In 1994, Jackson’s municipal auditorium was renamed Thalia Mara Hall; a fitting tribute to the beloved civic leader who forever altered the cultural landscape of our city. Thanks to Thalia’s tireless efforts, the auditorium became included in the International Ballet Competition’s four-city rotation in addition to hosting 70+ shows per season.

After 45 years of hosting the IBC and its regular slate of shows, it’s time for Thalia Mara Hall to get some much-needed and well-deserved TLC. The kind of extensive renovations called for at the Hall require tremendous buy in from all community stakeholders. Friends of Thalia Mara Hall (FTMH) is a consortium of private and public sector stakeholders founded to lead the charge in the effort to revitalize the Hall and important part of the arts district of the city.

In order to begin the first phase of the project, which began on January 13, 2014, Friends secured nearly $1.3 million to provide aesthetic upgrades to the facility. Features such as new seating and upgrades to the finishes in the auditorium will be paid for with funds raised by the non-profit organization – the idea being that those who contributed will be able to see and experience firsthand their investment in the refurbishing of Thalia Mara.

The funds raised by FTMH will join city dollars and state bond funds to round out the first phase of the project to be completed this May, just in time for the IBC. The city is contributing $2.8 million and the state is giving $1 million in bonds.

State funds will be used to increase accessibility for citizens with physical disabilities, providing Thalia Mara with needed ADA upgrades and better viewing for patrons in wheelchairs. State dollars will also provide new cross-concourse and additional egress systems upgrades in an effort to make the auditorium more user-friendly. Public restrooms will also be renovated to add additional capacities and provide ADA upgrades.

The city’s generous investment will be used to upgrade the air conditioning systems and life safety systems as well as providing lighting upgrades and other general infrastructure improvements. This initial investment will complete the first of three phases of a master plan that will eventually renovate the entire building and provide a more cohesive connection to the rest of the arts district in the area surrounding the Hall.

+ is a dynamic team working together

robertRob Farr, Principal in Charge
ronald-fenderRon Fender, Electrical Engineer
Katie_Jo_ChaneKatie Jo Chane, Interior Designer

Friends of Thalia Mara Hall Include:

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
Ballet Mississippi
City of Jackson
Community Foundation of Greater Jackson
Cooke Douglass Farr Lemons Architects and Engineers
Downtown Jackson Partners
Entergy Mississippi
Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership
Jackson State University
Mangia Bene Restaurant Management Group
Mississippi Museum of Art, Mississippi Opera
Mississippi Symphony Orchestra
The Ramey Agency
USA International Ballet Competition

In a snapshot: Stage one of the project