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Geneva Rotary Club grant enables Smith Opera House to expand accessible theater seating

Thanks to a generous grant from the Geneva Rotary Club, the Smith Opera House has increased its ADA-accessible seating by four, making the theater more accessible to patrons who use wheelchairs.

The $1,000 grant has allowed The Smith to purchase four sturdy, comfortable and fully upholstered seats. They have replaced older theater seats that were bolted to the theater floor in sections, making their removal tedious and impractical on short notice. Smith theater staff can quickly and easily remove the new seats, making room for four additional patrons in wheelchairs as well as their companions.

For reserved seating performances, the new seats are designated as accessible seats and sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. They are located in the left and right front orchestra sections.

“Geneva Rotary Club shares The Smith’s vision of removing barriers to participation. The Rotary grant has enabled us to implement a new seating configuration, creating access to our concerts and films for those who need it.  We are so grateful that Rotary continues to support projects at The Smith through its grants program,” said The Smith’s Executive Director Susie Monagan.

“Since 2007, Geneva Rotary Club has committed fundraising efforts to its Grant Program. This program is to assist non-profit organizations throughout the community with special projects to enhance their services for the community, with a special focus on youth programs. Though this project was not specifically focused on a youth program, it does certainly meet a need in the community to allow all community members, young and old, to enjoy the arts in a safe, comfortable and practical manner,” said Geneva Rotary President Shad Cook. 

Shad Cook, President of the Geneva Rotary Club, sits in one of four new removable theater seats at the Smith Opera House in Geneva. The seats were purchased through a grant from the Geneva Rotary Club and expand The Smith’s ADA-accessible seating options, making the theater accessible to more patrons who use wheelchairs.

The Smith Center for the Arts, stewards of the historic Smith Opera House, provides diverse arts and educational enrichment opportunities year-round for Finger Lakes residents and visitors. The Smith Opera House is at 82 Seneca St. in Geneva, NY. Box Office hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. For more information, call 315-781-5483 during box office hours or visit