Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tourism Cares and NTA Give Back: Lear Theater in Reno

Tourism Cares and NTA Give Back

NTA delegates help award a grant to Lear Theater in Reno

Canton, Mass. (March 24, 2010)- Tourism Cares, the non-profit dedicated to preserving the travel experience for the future, and NTA are pleased to award a $2,500 grant, raised by delegates during the NTA Gives Back program at last November’s Convention, to the historic Lear Theater in Reno, NV.

The white-columned Lear Theater ( is situated adjacent to downtown on the Truckee River, in an arts and culture district, near the casinos, in Reno, Nevada. It is housed in the building that was originally the First Church of Christ Scientist, which is listed on City, State and National Register’s of Historic Places. It was designed in the neoclassical style in 1938 by internationally-acclaimed architect, Paul Revere Williams. He was the first African-American member of the prestigious American Institute of Architects, and also the recipient of the NAACP’s highest award, the Springarn Medal. The building was named after Moya Lear, widow of Bill Lear, Jr., the famous aviation inventor (i.e. Lear jet), who was a member of the church and purchased the building to transform it into a theatre.

“NTA Convention delegates wanted to leave a legacy to the city that hosted them,” said NTA President Lisa Simon, CTP. “We couldn’t think of a better way than to give a Tourism Cares grant to a site that represents the rebirth of the arts and culture of a bygone era.”

The Tourism Cares – NTA Special Grant will support the historic renovation of this important piece of the city’s history. Although the site is not open yet, once renovations are completed, the Lear Theater is expected to serve as a catalyst for the theater district in downtown Reno, attracting large numbers of tourists and locals alike to this venue.

“There are dozens of arts agencies and local schools that are anxiously awaiting the opening of the Lear”, said Cathy Blankenship, Chief Operating Officer for the Lear Theater. “It will provide a much needed arts performance venue and enhance the growing Arts District in downtown Reno. The grant from NTA and Tourism Cares will expedite our restoration efforts to bring this historical gem back to its original grandeur”.

This Special Grant was made possible by donations from NTA delegates during the November 2009 NTA Annual Convention in Reno as part of the NTA Gives Back Program, and the funds raised were matched by NTA.

Tourism Cares is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity that benefits society by preserving the travel experience for future generations by giving grants to cultural, historic, and natural sites worldwide: by awarding academic, professional development, and service-learning scholarships to students of travel , tourism, and hospitality; and by organizing volunteer restoration events at tourism-related sites in need of care and rejuvenation. For additional information on Tourism Cares, please visit


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