Announced on January 26, 2023 at the SLO Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Good Morning SLO event, this game-changing gift from the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust to SLO REP’s campaign to build a beautiful new venue in downtown San Luis Obispo really kicked off our year in the BEST way possible.
In appreciation of this major gift, the grand lobby in our beautiful new theatre will be named in honor of the late Harold J. Miossi, a San Luis Obispo rancher, ardent environmentalist and supporter of the arts. The Miossi gift marks a significant milestone, pushing SLO REP’s fundraising total to $11 million, more than two-thirds of the $15.3 million goal.
“We are honored, humbled and deeply grateful for this generous gift,” said SLO REP Board President Pam Nichter. “The Miossi Trust is well known for its strategic arts philanthropy, having given similar gifts to support the performing arts centers on the Cuesta College and Cal Poly campuses. We are proud to be included in that league of first-class venues, and we are delighted to honor Mr. Miossi’s extraordinary legacy.”
“Harold Miossi was a genuine philanthropic visionary,” said Howard Carroll, trustee for the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust. “In setting up this trust before his death in 2006, it was Harold’s intention to support a variety of causes and organizations that enrich our region’s quality of life. Harold would have enthusiastically supported SLO REP in part because it has earned such substantial support from the City of San Luis Obispo, as well as support from a variety of private sources.
“More than that, Harold would be delighted to support SLO REP’s ambitious vision to become not only a destination regional theatre, but also an important educational and cultural institution. He would have no doubt that SLO REP will be a huge asset to downtown SLO, both as an artistic and economic driver for decades to come,” Carroll said. “I urge all patrons to join the Miossi Trust in supporting SLO REP to ensure successful completion of this capital campaign.”
The new SLO REP will be built at the corner of Monterey and Nipomo Streets, on land provided by the City of San Luis Obispo adjacent to its planned parking structure. Groundbreaking for the parking structure is slated for later this year, and theater construction will follow. The theater is scheduled to open in January 2027.
The new venue will be a single-story building of nearly 12,000 square feet. It will feature a 215-seat Mainstage theater for fully staged musicals, dramas and comedies, and a 99-seat Black Box theater for staged readings, workshopping of new plays and other live entertainment. The new SLO REP is expected to draw 50,000 patrons downtown each year.
“The Miossi gift caps an extraordinary year for SLO REP,” said Managing Artistic Director Kevin Harris. “In the last 12 months, we have raised more than $5.5 million, including a $3.9 million challenge grant from the City of San Luis Obispo, which the council approved unanimously in February. In March, we completed the purchase of a new headquarters at 3533 Empleo Street, and that has already allowed us to nearly double the number of young people in our educational program, the Academy of Creative Theatre (ACT). The Empleo building also gives us badly needed space for rehearsals and set construction.
“With the new downtown venue, we will be able to greatly expand our offerings, operating 45 weeks every year, producing 22 shows with over 300 performances,” Harris said.
“SLO REP’s state-of-the-art performing arts facility is a foundational part of the community’s vision for a downtown Cultural Arts District,” said SLO Mayor Erica A. Stewart. “On behalf of my council colleagues and city staff, we extend our thanks to the Miossi Trust. We appreciate the extraordinary strides SLO REP has made over the past decade to grow its audience and donor base, as well as to steadily improve its artistic quality.”
The new SLO REP will be on Monterey street south of Mission Plaza, across the street from the SLO Museum of Art and the Children’s Museum and near the History Center of SLO County. Construction will begin in 2025, after construction of the new Cultural Arts District Parking Structure, on the corner of Palm and Nipomo Streets, is complete.
ABOUT THE HAROLD J. MIOSSI CHARITABLE TRUST
The Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust provides philanthropic support to organizations seeking to improve the quality of life for residents of the City of San Luis Obispo and surrounding areas. The Trust focuses on six key areas: animal-related, education, environment, the Catholic Church, fine arts and youth development. Ninety-nine percent of the funds that have been disbursed by the Trust have been invested in the City of San Luis Obispo and surrounding areas, where Harold J. Miossi made his lifetime home. For more information, please visit miossicharitabletrust.org.
Click HERE to view a video and learn more about SLO REP’s Capital Campaign for a new theatre. For more information, please contact Patty Thayer, Development & Capital Campaign Director at (805) 781-3889, ext. 15 or email [email protected].