The MVFA was formed in 1989, under John Dowdall’s directive, as a non-profit arts support group focused on providing a performance venue for The Port Polson Players Theatre.
The Board of Directors is all-volunteer, with no salaries paid. MVFA targets membership revenue into maintenance and renovation of Polson’s Beautiful Theatre on the Lake. These funds — supplemented by donations, in-kind goods and services, grants, sponsorships, and anonymous gifts — have put over $250,000 in improvements into the city-owned building, with no burden on the local tax structure. MVFA’s lease on the 1938 building has been extended to 2040.
MVFA renovation history includes contracting cement stairs and iron railings on two sides of the building; a cement slab outside the front door entrance; two cement terraces on the lake side of the structure; a theatre handicap access road from the parking lot to the main building; outside benches; kitchen upgrades; carpeting; two upstairs, plumbed bathrooms; a ten-phase electrical upgrade; a security system; landscaping; signage; a state of the art heating and air conditioning system; re-chinking; painting and staining; stucco repair; new energy-efficient doors and windows; a new roof; the recent overhaul of the golf course seed shed; and the complete removal and upgrade of the building’s outdoor west wall. The Mission Valley Friends of the Arts also arranged for the removal of the old furnace boiler and its underground oil tank. MVFA hired an abatement company to rid the building of asbestos insulation from the downstairs boiler room.
In turn, the Theatre is home to countless performance events throughout the year, including summer stock, community theatre, children’s camps, and concerts; the Players perform eight of ten shows per season in the 1938 log building.
Contributions to MVFA are tax-deductible as the organization has a 501(c)(3) status. Donations can be made in any of seven different categories, ranging from $10 Sailor to $1000-and-above Admiral as well as memorials. Members receive a membership card good for $1.00 off all regularly-scheduled Port Polson Players performances, a listing in all performance programs, and the annual newsletter Footnotes from the Footlights.
Donations can be made by mail to MVFA, PO Box 1156, Polson MT 59860. A receipt will then be mailed for tax purposes. And, with inclusion of their e-mail address, MVFA members are now a mouse-click away from up-to-the-minute event announcements.