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Calumet Theatre Company Board overhauled

The Historic Calumet Theatre Welcomes Four New Board Members

CALUMET, MI  Tuesday, September 28, 2021 – The Historic Calumet Theatre is pleased to welcome four new members to its Board of Directors. There were a total of 6 candidates on the ballot, four new nominees, and two incumbents, and write-in candidates were welcomed.

In their Annual Member Meeting and Election last night, 35 members were in attendance (combined Zoom and in-person). The in-person votes were made on paper ballots, and zoom votes were made in an electronic poll format via Zoom webinar. Votes were collected by staff in an orderly manner, and tallies were made by the three Calumet Theatre staff persons present. Incumbents were Jerry Mitchell and Jody Menneguzo. New nominees were Bob Wareham, Michele Southerland, Diane St. Amour, and John Sullivan. The newly elected Calumet Theatre Company Board of Directors members are:

  1. Bob Wareham
  2. Dan Jamison, write-in candidate
  3. Michele Southerland
  4. Diane St. Amour

Bethany Jones, recently hired as the Calumet Theatre Marketing Director, and also doing double time as acting Business Director, is excited to welcome new faces to the Calumet Theatre Board:

“I want to personally welcome our new Board of Director Members. I look forward to working with each of you to move the Calumet Theatre forward. We want our new Board Members to know that we recognize that staff roll-overs and 18 months of pandemic lockdowns have been detrimental to the healing and regrowth of the Theatre’s activities. I’m here to help and to fix as well as improve. The first big show of the season was just this past Saturday, Boy Band Review and was a great success. We need to put aside the past and look to the future to get our historic Calumet Theatre back to it’s former glory and hopefully improve it to everyone’s benefit. We hope to see everyone back in our theatre this season.”

Following the Member Meeting and Election, the Board went into Executive Session to elect new officers. The new Calumet Theatre Board of Directors Officers are: Dan Jamison, President, Michele Southerland, Treasurer, and Diane St. Amour, Secretary.

For more details and additional information, please contact Bethany Jones, Marketing Director, CTmarketingdirector@gmail.com, or call 906.231.1325.

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In the Red Jacket Ballroom, next door to a stage that is no stranger to drama, the real life variety played out Monday night.

The Calumet Theatre Company’s annual meeting resulted in four new members being appointed to the non-profit organization’s Board of Directors. Additionally the leadership was completely overhauled. Jacob Mihelich has organized a Facebook page in recent months called Advocates for the Calumet Theatre. He says it started off tense. Media was not allowed inside, but a Michigan State Police trooper was called to ensure that tempers did not boil over.

Mihelich runs down the Calumet Theatre Company’s new board members

The members that were elected to the board were Dianne St. Amour, Dan Jamison, Michelle Southerland, and Bob Wareham.

Jamison will be the new board president. Keweenaw Report is working to confirm the positions for the other three. Theatre Company Board members refused to grant an interview, declining the invitation in a terse manner.

It is not yet clear if the shakeup will be enough to placate the Calumet Village Council. Earlier this month, a letter was sent demanding documents be provided. Talking to the theatre’s marketing director Bethany Jones on Monday, she confirmed that the organization had received the missive. She was working to deliver proof of insurance to Acting Village Manager Dave Geisler. Also requested was a list of show dates. Councilor Elise Matz reads that portion of the letter.

“The Village would like to exercise its right to use the leased premises and theatrical properties at times that do not conflict with the tenants previously scheduled activities pursuant to paragraph eight of the lease agreement. Please provide a current list of scheduled events. None are listed on the Theatre Company’s website.” This was true when the letter was sent.

You can listen to the letter read in its entirety below.

On September 14th, the National Park Service and the Village Council led a walkthrough of the facility to gauge its condition. The tour was discussed at last week’s meeting, where it was revealed that UP Engineers and Architects will be doing an inspection of their own on the 29th. The Village Council has a work session scheduled for the following day. The results of that examination could be the determining factor in whether the council moves forward with a plan to terminate its lease agreement with the Calumet Theatre Company, a pact that has existed since the 1980’s.

No staff from the Theatre Company were on hand for the 9/14 tour. Bethany Jones says that a COVID-19 exposure scare had forced members to quarantine during that time period.

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