Web campaign aims to fund Quilcene's outdoor concerts
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
Bob Rosen, at podium, right, thanks Jim Christiansen, left, Jim Munn, Bonnie Story and Gary Phillips at the dedication of Linger Longer Outdoor Theater in Quilcene last year.

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

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QUILCENE — A group of south county entrepreneurs are using Kickstarter, an Internet funding platform usually employed to raise money for business or artistic projects, to subsidize a community stage.

The Linger Longer Outdoor Theater, located at 151 East Columbia St., opened last summer after it was constructed by volunteer labor under the nominal direction of Bob Rosen, a retired Hollywood director who moved to Quilcene in 2000 and who credits volunteers with playing a major role in the construction and continued operation of the theater.

Two concerts were held in 2012 at the location, which can accommodate up to 1,000 people, and three more are scheduled for this year.

Volunteer donors now are sought to raise the next season's startup costs.

The Kickstarter campaign seeks to raise $4,750 by April 29.

“This is the budget we need in order to prepare for the events,” Rosen said.

“There are enough people in the community who will support this and make this happen.”

As of Friday night, $635 had been pledged by 14 people.

The theater project's Kickstarter site describes Quilcene, a once-bustling hub for the lumber industry, as a town that had fallen on hard times, but slowly, through donations and endless hours of volunteer labor, has begun to lift itself out of economic depression.

The Community Center was remodeled, a consortium was organized to reopen the gas station, restaurants were reopened, and new businesses began to come back.

“The way that Quilcene has reacted to these conditions makes it a role model about how a small town can make a comeback,” Rosen said of the town that had 596 people in the 2010 census.

The shows already scheduled on the stage are the Better Half on
June 15 and Freddy Pink on July 20.

A third event in September will combine a musical performance and a half marathon, the details for which have yet to be determined, Rosen said.

The concerts are not free.

Tickets for the Better Half cost $15, while Freddy Pink tickets are $35.

All proceeds will go to the Quilcene Historical Museum and its efforts to purchase the historic Worthington House and 10-acre grounds on which the outdoor stage was built.

The effort is to create a place called Worthington Park.

The museum's campaign has raised $243,000 of the $300,000 needed to buy the property and house, which is said to be the only Victorian residence of its scale in rural Jefferson County.

Rosen said this is a long-term goal that is not directly related to the Kickstarter campaign, which meets an immediate need.

For more information on the Kickstarter campaign, or to donate, see http://tinyurl.com/bringmusictoquilcene.

Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at charlie.bermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 07. 2013 6:25PM
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