Paradise Center for the Arts Executive Director Heidi Nelson told KDHL AM Minnesota listeners today they are close to being debt free.  No small task during a pandemic that essentially closed their doors to audiences for shows.

Nelson is hoping the City of Faribault comes through with Paradise's request for $250,000 to assist in eliminating their mortgage debt.  The agreement is still being worked out between the City and PCA but during a December Council Committee meeting a majority of the council thought it was a good idea.

Nelson says part of the agreement will require PCA not to request yearly funding which they've done in the past.  That provision enticed a few of the members of the Faribault City Council.  Just two members of the council voiced hesitation and one of those is no longer going to be on the council.

Sara Caron will be the new member of the City Council which will have a Join Committee Meeting where they Appoint a Deputy City Administrator and designate a Vice Mayor and some of those other organizational orders of business.

Nelson says last Thursday (December 31, 2020) she was able to pay off the remainder of the line of credit taken out several years ago and frozen over the last few years.

She says, "We're excited. We are on our way.  Just that mortgage debt left.  That line of credit is completely gone.  You know what's really cool about is that the people who have come members are so excited to be a part of realizing that they're the answer.  They're the solution. They're the ones actually helping us to eliminate this and realizing they are actually becoming lifetime members is pretty cool."

Nelson points out Paradise has a goal of getting 100 people to donate $2,500 each to be part of what they are calling the 100 club. "We've actually raised with the 100 club a little over $60,000.  Even more exciting than being able to pay off that line of credit, which completely goes away.  We will hopefully never need to do that again. Thursday we had six more members join the 100 club so people are excited.  We're paying off the line of credit and on to paying off the mortgage debt."

The Debt Reduction Committee of the Paradise came up with the 100 Club idea.

Nelson says 100 Club members, "Receive a lifetime membership to the Paradise Center for the Arts with no more memberships each year. We're going to have a piece of artwork done in the lobby that will showcase all of those 100 Club members.  They will actually be invited to come once a year to find out a little bit about the programming planned for the next year."

You can listen to the Monday, January 4, 2021 conversation with Heidi Nelson on KDHL below:


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