By Lemor Abrams

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The singers of Celebration Arts, delivered a joyful performance outside city hall on Tuesday, but they say, it’s going to take a lot more than vocal cords to keep their theater running.

“All that stuff costs money,” said theatre founder and director James Wheatley.

After nearly three decades directing young, African-American talent at the community theater he started, James Wheatley took to the podium, announcing he needs to raise $100,000 for a new theater after losing his lease when the building owner chose not to renew.

“Where do African-American students of drama go? There is no other home for them,” said performer Linda Goodrich.

“It’s the only voice right now for the kind of theater that we favor,” said Will Call attendant Linda White.

Negotiations are underway to relocate to one of two stages at B Street Theater in Midtown, and city leaders are pledging to volunteer their time for fundraising.

“It is crucial we as a community support the efforts,” said Vice Mayor Rick Jennings.

“It truly is a moment for our community to come together,” said Councilman Steve Hansen.

For now, as “Celebration Arts” singers make their voices heard at city hall.

Wheatley says, the real show must go on.

“We’re not trying to make performers we’re trying to make great people,” he said.

In January, the Sacramento Auto Museum will host a Gala fundraiser to raise money.


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