Launching forward

Lancaster's new home for fresh theatrical experiences


Why FWD?


THIS IS A game-changer for our community's cultural vibrancy

and there's a role for you to play

For just under a decade, thousands of Prima patrons have experienced music and stories that move them. From Broadway legends to the region’s finest talent, Prima has presented boutique musicals, concerts and special events, playing a key role in the ever-increasing cultural vitality of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As a non-profit organization, Prima depends on the investment of forward-thinking individuals, foundations, and businesses.


Watch Mitch Nugent's brief address about FWD

fwd booklet

Get the full story



Since 2010, Prima has been a nomadic organization, performing in a variety of spaces across Lancaster County.

It's been a great adventure. However, traveling to over a dozen venues has at times stifled community interaction, inconvenienced audiences, and confined creative potential. 

Now that changes.


FWD is a movement to launch forward Lancaster's new home for fresh theatrical experiences.

With a visionary investment from Carol Culliton of the Gunterberg Charitable Foundation, as well as the leaders at Sequinox, Prima now has a home in the western part of Lancaster City.

This venue is like a gifted plot of fertile ground. What an awesome asset! Now it is our opportunity to plant the seeds to see it blossom to its full potential. Lancaster deserves a level of cultural vitality that suits its growing vibrancy.



FWD has exciting momentum

Brick & mortar costs are covered! That means nearly half of the FWD funds have been raised.

The opportunity now is to invest in furthering the experience.

Whatever your capacity, you can make a meaningful, noticed, and appreciated impact. 


The challenge

Jump into FWD and make an impact. 

There are a lot of great causes to support. When you invest your resources, you deserve to be part of something worth talking about. Something where your gift won’t go unnoticed. FWD is a rare opportunity to play a role in this game-changing movement for our community's cultural vibrancy.

Starting only happens once.

There'll never be a greater opportunity to grow Prima and broaden arts accessibility.

Your commitment means invigorated lives. 

With your commitment, Prima will have the capacity to increase programming, reach deep into our community, inspire more local talent, and create the strength of cultural vitality that Lancaster deserves. 

 What now?


Learn about FWD. Read through the FWD booklet and get your questions answered in the FAQs.


Choose to invest in launching Prima FWD today.


Have the VIP experience to see the impact of your


As you consider your participation level, use this Pledge Profile as a guide to help make your commitment. 


Music By Jeremy Schonfeld. Arranged By Andy Mowatt. Featuring Amber Amber Renae and Kevin Faraci.

Recorded at The Sugar Tank. Copyright 2018, Prima Arts Inc. 


I already support Prima in the annual campaign. Is FWD different?

We are asking everyone to consider a commitment over and above current contributions. The lion’s share of our impact comes from annual contributions, and we humbly ask for your continued significant participation. With strong financial general fund giving, we are able to support the current programming offerings and community impact engagements.

Does Lancaster need another performance venue?

The Northeast is one of the top 5 most active regions in the U.S. for arts engagement.*1 Those considering moving to Lancaster from larger metropolitan areas are likely to have had access to a strong variety of quality performing arts. 45% of surveyed Lancastrians have seen a show in NYC in the past 12 months.*5 Highly-cultured people expect a variety of theatrical options in a region worth calling home. The richness of cultural offerings directly impacts economic growth and the flourishing of our community.

In addition to the vital programming happening at other local venues, Prima’s boutique theatrical experiences complement the variety of offerings in our region, not overlapping on programatic style.

Additionally, affordable, available, and appropriately-sized space (with free parking)
is difficult for arts patrons and special event clients to find in Lancaster City. Prima’s new space will help ease this area of need in the community and provide our organization with an additional revenue source in special events hosting.

Prima is a young organization. Can it withstand the costs of taking on its own venue?

Since 2010 Prima has been invigorating lives with fresh theatrical experiences. For 8 years the organization has been strengthening its capacity to make a big leap like this. With the help of Community First Fund, Lancaster County Community Foundation, arts consultants, and other leaders in our community, Prima has prepared diligently to assure that taking on this venue will only positively impact the operating budget, even without FWD. This effort will only amplify Prima’s resources to invigorate more lives.

Can I trust my contribution will be well-managed?



Prima has appropriate checks-and-balances in place for financial management. This includes a monthly budget update to Prima’s Board of Directors, as well as an annual independent financial review by Trout, Ebersole and Groff (available upon request). Additionally, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Bureau of Charitable Organizations and the Internal Revenue Service hold strong oversight over 501c3 non-profit organizations such as Prima. Your investment in FWD will go directly to strengthening Prima’s ability to invigorate lives with fresh theatrical experiences.

By making a contribution to FWD, am I agreeing to a contract?

We strongly believe that you will experience the value and impact of your gift. In any case, Prima will not hold you legally liable for your commitment.

Do the arts make a strong enough local impact to justify my giving?

It’s good for business. A strong arts sector encourages “staycations.” A study by Franklin & Marshall researchers showed that an average arts attendee in Lancaster spends an additional $286 per year with local businesses, not including the cost of admission. These audiences provide valuable revenue for local merchants and their communities. In Lancaster, neighboring businesses have reported as much as a 45% increase in profits on arts performance dates. Over $28 million is generated by nonprofit arts and culture organizations in economic flow for Lancaster County.*2 Additionally, Prima patrons overwhelmingly identify themselves as forward-thinking, explorative, and energetic.*5 These audiences expect high-caliber productions and intriguing works. Acquiring and maintaining employees and clients is aided by a rich array of top-notch cultural offerings in Lancaster City.

It’s good for the local workforce. The Conference Board reports that creativity is among the top 5 applied skills sought by business leaders — with 72% saying creativity is of high importance when hiring. Their Ready to Innovate report concludes that Nobel laureates in the sciences are 17 times more likely to be actively engaged in the arts than average scientists. People who engage with the arts are more creative leaders.

It’s good for our community. University of Pennsylvania researchers have demonstrated that a high concentration of the arts in a city leads to higher civic engagement, more social cohesion, better child welfare, and lower poverty rates.
A vibrant arts community ensures that young people are not left to be raised solely by pop culture and tabloids.*3 Arts events can be a source of pride for residents (participants and nonparticipants alike), increasing their sense of connection to the community. An ever-advancing cultured public means a better Lancaster.

It’s good for the next generation. Prima’s new venue is designed to attract the next generation of performing arts patrons. Whether it be architectural, aesthetic, programming, or food and beverage, the design team for this project is curating every decision to draw in theatre-goers and non-theatre people alike of all generations. Contemporary performances offer the opportunity for people to come together who might otherwise not be engaged in communal social activity.

It’s good for you. Experiencing music and relatable stories can be a moving and energizing experience. Having a home for culturally adventurous work means a unique outlet for these types of experiences, with free parking, a convenient location, more programming options to suit your interests, and a wider availability of dates to choose from to fit your schedule.

Additionally, engaging the arts improves:
• individual health • psychological well-being • improves skills and creativity4

*1 National Endowment of the Arts study, “A Decade of Arts Engagement Study”

*2 “The Arts In Lancaster,” Center For Opinion Research, Floyd Institute for Public Policy, Franklin & Marshall College, January 2010

*3 “Social Impact of the Arts Project, University of Pennsylvania Social Policy & Practice, 2017

*4 “How the Arts Impact Communities,” Princeton University, 2002

*5 “Prima Forward Survey,” July 2018