From our friends at Kent Lutheran Church:

Kent Lutheran Church has adopted an idea that has transformed many older churches in the Eastern part of the United States called “Sacred Places/Civic Spaces. As a way to better meet the needs of its surrounding community in downtown Kent, the church has created “A Gathering Place for Cultural Arts.” To avert a transformation to residential use or being demolished, many religious buildings are being transitioned out of an exclusive religious use. Moving into this new format and incorporating the Sacred Places/Civic Spaces concept ensures the future of Kent Lutheran Church in downtown Kent. Recent renovations to the facility give longevity and security to all the social service groups that call the KLC campus home.

After functioning some two years as an independent non-profit charitable organization, separate from Kent Lutheran Church, KENT GRAND ORGAN has been granted exemption from federal income tax. Donors may now contribute directly to KGO and deduct those monetary gifts from their IRS annual obligation. Section 501-C-3 is the portion of the U S Internal Revenue Code that allows for federal tax exemption of non-profit organizations, specifically those that are considered secular public charities.

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KENT GRAND ORGAN is expected to cost in excess of $700,000 by the time installation is finished in 2021, and with the $350,000 Kent Lutheran has already funded in facility upgrades, including a new roof puts the project total at $1 million. The historic pipe organ will have an eventual value of about $1.5 million.  According to the National Endowment for the Arts, for every dollar spent on the arts, communities like Kent can expect a return of $9. That’s a total of more than $10 million eventually returned to the City of Kent and surrounding businesses.

The historic KENT GRAND ORGAN, once installed at the Gathering Place for Cultural Arts at Kent Lutheran will be a symphonic, rather than a classical pipe organ.  When compared to the pipe organ at Benaroya Hall in Seattle with 83 ranks and 4,490 pipes, KGO will have 70 ranks with 4,264 pipes. The symphonic organ is a style of pipe organ that flourished during the first three decades of the 20th century.  It is a variation of the classical pipe organ – expanded with many pipe imitative of orchestral instruments. These expansions are intended to facilitate the expressive performance of classical orchestral works re-scored for a solo organist. According to our builder, Marceau and Associates of Seattle, KGO will be the largest symphonic organ to be set in any church in the Pacific Northwest and the largest organ installed in any Lutheran Church in this area.

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Scott Schaefer

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One reply on “An update on the Kent Grand Organ fundraiser”

  1. Great idea! Kent really needs a positive cultural meeting space. Kent Lutheran has served our community in many ways over the past years and their ideas around community, not religiously exclusive, is wonderful. Well done

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