This story was published by Vista.Today on March 11, 2023. 

The staff of the Colonial Theatre is growing. Kristine Connolly has joined as its new Advancement Officer. She’ll focus on fundraising to advance the Colonial’s mission to nurture community by celebrating the power of film and the performing arts to entertain, inform, and reveal meaning.

Connolly previously served as Development Manager of the Stern Grove Festival Association in San Francisco, where she oversaw donor and sponsor benefits programs for the Festival’s 10-concert, 2022 season.

The theater’s board, staff, and community stakeholders are currently engaged in their first strategic plan in over a decade (and since the 2017 opening of its new wing) with Mary Beth Simon of Niche Partnership Consulting leading the effort. Recently, the Colonial completed $80,000 in necessary roof repairs to its 1903 auditorium. The work was undertaken by Nunzio Degrazio Roofing and Siding of Norristown. It’s currently repainting the original lobby with assistance from Phoenixville painter and Colonial Theatre volunteer and member, Nick Nauta.

Connolly has over 12 years of progressive nonprofit fundraising, program management, and event planning experience. At the American Bookbinders Museum, she pioneered virtual, pandemic-era fundraising strategies to grow individual giving and membership revenue.

She possesses experience mounting large-scale special events, conferences, and sponsorship programs for various nonprofits including the Da Vinci Art Alliance, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and the National Grocers Association. Connolly has a B.A. in Communications from Longwood University and an M.A. in Arts Leadership and Cultural Management from Colorado State University. She and husband Matt, a Phoenixville area-native, have returned to the area with their toddler, Annabelle.

“I’m excited to focus on individual giving initiatives at the Colonial Theatre and launch a signature fundraising event experience,” said Connolly. “To quote Audrey Hepburn: ‘giving is living. If you stop wanting to give, there’s nothing more to live for.’”