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March 01, 1991 - Image 19

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-03-01

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synagogue building and 10-
acre site on Southfield Road
south of 10 Mile Road for
$1.45 million, to be paid over
the next three years.
Southfield hopes to
transform the building into
a community center for the
arts. Estimated cost of the
transformation is $2 million.
Renovation plans call for the
sanctuary to be converted
into an- 810-seat performing
arts auditorium with a stage
equipped to house a sym-
phony orchestra.
The social hall would
become a multi-purpose area
for theater, lectures and so-
cial functions. Classrooms
would be enlarged to ac-
commodate such events as
group rehearsals.
City officials said they are
anxious to develop the arts
more fully, yet added they
face space limitations. Much
cultural programming is
spread among satellite loca-
tions, and Southfield would
like to join all such activities
under one roof.
"We are ready to move
into one facility," said
Southfield Cultural Arts
Manager Marlowe Belanger.
"We operate a facility at the
Department of Public Works
garage, at the Mary Thomp-
son • Center, and we hold
dance classes at the various
First on the drawing board
is a plan to move a theater
workshop into the B'nai
David facility, Mrs.
Belanger said.
"We are not trying to put
pressure on B'nai David,"
Mrs. Belanger said. "We
would like all of our arts
groups to have a home of
their own."
As Gov. John Engler pro-
poses massive slashes in the
state's cultural arts budget,
it is most critical that arts be
promoted, Mrs. Belanger
She added that the Federa-
tion for the Arts, comprised
of city administrators and
business people, including
Jewish businessmen Irving
Nussbaum and Louis
Redstone, will work closely
with B'nai David to ac-
complish mutual goals. The
Federation for the Arts will
launch a fund-raising cam-
paign for the future center,
opening membership to the
public for $5 and $10.
Meanwhile, Mr.
Blumenberg of B'nai David
said maintenance costs to
operate the synagogue are
exorbitant, estimated at $1
million a year. But, he said,
that will not force the con-
gregation to move before its
proposed site on Maple east
of Haggerty is ready. ❑




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