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The Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Awards

Newberry Opera House Foundation

2010 Recipient for Organization


Newberry Opera House

Under the leadership of Dr. James E. Wiseman, the Newberry Opera House Foundation raised nearly $6 million to restore the 1882 Opera House and ultimately revitalize the historic town of Newberry.


Since reopening in 1998, the Newberry Opera House has been the driving force for countywide progress and a national example of the power of the arts. Volunteers, audiences and its breadth of programming set the Opera House apart from others. In a community of 10,000, the venue has a donor base of more than 9,000, an active volunteer core of more than 400, and a 100-member guild that raises $50,000 annually.


Newberry Opera House has received economic, preservation and artistic awards, including recognition from the S.C. Secretary of the State for being one of the best fiscally managed nonprofits in South Carolina. The venue has also been honored by national foundations and funding sources, such as the National Endowment for the Arts and the League of Historic American Theaters, which named the Opera House one the nation’s “outstanding Historic Theater.”