B Street Theatre, February 2014 Rendering

New B Street Theatre, February 2014 Rendering. Vrilakas Architects.

The Organization

What are the Top 10 Things I should know about the B Street Theatre?

  • Founded in 1986.
  • The only professional children’s theatre in Northern California.
  • We are a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Our tax ID is 95-4047805, under our founding name, Theatre for Children, Inc.
  • 16 plays produced per year (7 B Street Mainstage, 4 Family Series, 4 B3 Series, 1 Special Engagement).
  • More than 900 performances per year (over 330 B Street, 330 Family Series performances, 200 B3 Series, 50 Special Engagement).
  • More than 10,000 Subscribers (7,311 B Street Mainstage and 2,174 Family Series, 551 B3….OK, OK….we actually have 10,036 subscribers if you want to be exact! This means 68% of available B Street seats are filled with subscribers; 71% for Family Series).
  • Total attendance per year is over 110,000 (75,000 B Street, 25,000 Family Series and 11,000 B3).
  • We serve 200,000 kids PER YEAR in 12 counties through our long-standing outreach program, The B Street Theatre School Tour. In 2013 we served students in 23 counties throughout California.
  • B Street Theatre is the second largest performing arts organization in Sacramento. This year’s budget is $2.2 million.
  • All B Street actors are working professionals. The company casts from a small pool of local professionals as well as from professional, union actors residing in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. Each year, the Theatre spends over $900,000 on professional talent.


What is the future for B Street Theatre?

The organization will survive in today’s competitive entertainment environment by consistently producing top-quality work and maintaining a healthy balance sheet. B Street Theatre will also educate our community, especially youth, who are the artists, technicians and leaders of the future, about the power of collaboration and the importance of creativity.

What is B Street Theatre’s financial position?

The innovation and originality of our productions are backed by sound management. Operating in the black since 1997, our annual revenues now exceed $2.7 million—more than 75% from earned revenues with the remainder from philanthropic contributions and in-kind gifts.

Tell me more about the management of the theatre?

Our nonprofit B Street organization is governed by a community Board of Directors. Producing Artistic Director Buck Busfield continues his 22 years of leadership with hands-on artistic management and extraordinary vision. Our founding director Timothy Busfield is now working as a producer and director in Los Angeles.

The team breaks ground!

The Project

Why the new theatre?

For more than 25 years it has been our dream to build a performing arts center that raises the quality of our facility to the quality of our productions. With a long history of steady growth, we are now poised for expansion with a new building to house our theatres, our educational programs and our staff. True to the B Street legacy, though, this isn’t going to be just any theatre. Our project represents a new, exciting and innovative public-private partnership model – with Sutter Medical Center providing the land and the City of Sacramento providing a community reinvestment grant for project development costs.

Will you still be called B Street Theatre if you are no longer on B Street?

Yes. Our roots began at B Street and our patrons know us by that name and brand.

What is the design of the new theatre?

It’s a 40,000 square-foot performing arts complex, to house two theatres with a total of 615 seats, lobby bistro/cafe and theatre company space owned by B Street Theatre. This mixed-use project in a contemporary architectural style is consistent with B Street’s philosophy of orginality, creativity and community-building. 

Where will the theatre be located?

On the corner of 27th and Capitol in Midtown Sacramento.

How did you get the land?

The land was generously donated by Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento. Sutter is dedicated to creating a healthy Sacramento in more ways than just providing medical services. Sutter and B Street both feel that exposure and access to the arts is an important part of a healthy mind, body, and community.

Will the B Street Theatre stage productions for the children who are patients at the new Sutter Women & Children’s Center?

Yes, the theatre already has a working relationship with Sutter Medical Center Sacramento to bring the theatre to children who are hospitalized. This relationship will continue once the new Women’s & Children’s Center is built.

Campaign Process

How much money has been raised so far for the capital campaign?

In the first phase of fundraising (prior to 2010) the theatre project received a $5M gift from Sutter Medical Center, $1M from the City of Sacramento, and approximately $800K from the board and community donors. We received a promise for an $8.4 million I-Bank loan and a $2.5 million construction loan from the City of Sacramento. In addition, we have finalized an $12 million loan from Five Star Bank, as well as a $3 million naming-rights deal.

Can our contribution to the campaign be paid over time?

Yes, gifts can be paid over a period of time with three year pledges being the norm. For the convenience of the donor, reminders will be sent out monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually or on other dates as specified by the donor.

Is our pledge a legally binding commitment?

A pledge is a promise made under a particular set of circumstances. If circumstances change, the pledge can be adjusted accordingly. However, B Street is counting on all of the pledges to fund the project and make the new facility a reality.

Do we need to make a down payment on our pledge?

No. However, your initial payment at the time of your pledge will enable B Street to move forward with the construction of the facility. Beginning work as soon as possible will enable everyone to benefit from this new community asset at the earliest possible date.

What recognition opportunities are available?

There are many permanent recognition opportunities available for contributors of $1,000 and more to the campaign. Naming rights are available at $10,000 to $2 million. A detailed list of available opportunities is available by contacting Garrett McCord, Capital Campaign Associate, at 916.443.5391, ext. 113 or at gmccord@bstreettheatre.org.

I understand B Street was recently awarded a $8.4 million loan?

In May 2014, after an intense vetting process of our project and organization, the I-Bank (California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank) board voted to finance the new theatre project. This action in itself signifies that our business plan and financial model are very strong, warranting a significant investment of federal dollars.

In addition, this was the first-ever I-Bank loan to a nonprofit organization!

Is the city of Sacramento helping?

Yes! In December 2015, the Sacramento City Council granted us a $3 million forgivable loan with the condition that B Street hold performances at two schools in each City Council district – along with two “at-large” schools – every year for 20 years. The theater will also provide 60 discounted tickets for matinee performances each year to every council district and will allow the city to use the facility for events four times a year.

What does this mean for construction?

Construction began on May 19, 2016 and will take about 18 months until opening to the public. However, the project still needs some additional funding for the project to be 100% complete. As it stands, certain portions of the building such as the administrative offices, classrooms, and rehearsal spaces may be shelled out until this gap is filled. This gap could be filled by private or corporate gifts.

Will ticket prices increase when you move?

In order to pay off the building loan, individual ticket prices will increase $3 the first opening year and eventually raise to $5. However, even with this increase B Street will still remain the most affordable live performance ticket in the Sacramento region. Concession prices may increase as well.

We’re at the home stretch! Now is the most critical time in our capital campaign – when historic opportunity must inspire community commitment!

Click here to learn more about purchasing a Brick, Seat, or Star and making your mark on the new theatre!