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The Smithville Charitable Foundation has approved and awarded a $20,000 grant to Next Act, Inc., to be used for the purchase and/or renovation of Jasper’s historic Astra Theatre.

Next Act formed in 2014 as a group whose primary interest was to save, revive and revitalize the Astra. The group notes it has since upgraded its mission to not only save the Astra, but to foster, engage and create cultural and artistic happenings and knowledge in Dubois County.

In a news release Next Act chairperson Leslie Hamby says the group is humbled by Smithville’s belief in their project and the community. She says this philanthropic support is an investment not only in the future of the Astra Theatre, but also in the area’s arts and cultural awareness and could not be more grateful.

The funds from Smithville will be used for the purchase of the building. With more than $400,000 raised ó $300,000 for the endowment and more than $100,000 for the purchase of the theater ó Next Act hopes to make an announcement in the very near future about a purchase date.

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