Gesa Power House Theatre at night

Transition to Nonprofit

Gesa Power House Theatre is on the move in 2017. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, called Power House Theatre Walla Walla, Inc., has been formed with the goal of raising funds to assume ownership of the theater by 2018.

Gesa Power House Theatre is currently a limited liability company, actively owned and operated by Mark Anderson and Dennis Ledford (and other silent partners). As part of a transition plan, the current owners will gift their equity in the LLC to the nonprofit. Anderson and Ledford now serve on the board of the new nonprofit, and are joined by Ken Harrison, Barbara Peterson, and Bill Clemens.

“Since the theater opened, we have worked to create a facility that would enhance the culture of Walla Walla and the surrounding area,” says Mark Anderson. “The Power House is a community gathering place for a wide variety of events and programming. We have now developed a clear path toward a business model that can keep the theater sustainable for many years to come.”

Gesa Power House Theatre has grown into a local hub for live performances, including in-house productions, rentals by outside groups, and private events. In 2016, approximately 18,000 people attended events held in the historic building. Originally the Walla Walla Gas Plant, the building was originally built more than 125 years ago to produce coal gas to light the streets, businesses and homes of Walla Walla.

Transitioning to a nonprofit, which is an industry standard for performance venues, will ensure that the building will be maintained as a public asset well into the future. Private ownership is rare as ticket sales cannot fully cover ongoing operating expenses, which must be supplemented through other funding sources, including tax-deductible donations from businesses and individuals.

To learn more, or to find out how you can help support the new nonprofit, contact info@phtww.org.

Additional Links:

You can help!

The Washington State Department of Commerce recommended an allocation of $335,000 for the theater from the Building for the Arts Fund in the capital budget of the next biennium. Will you consider sending our Washington state legislators a message of support for Gesa Power House Theatre? You can call, write, or e-mail. For your convenience, here is a form letter you can download and customize, along with their contact information:

  • Senator Maureen Walsh (R)
    Majority Assistant Whip
    16th Legislative District

    Olympia Office
    205 Irv Newhouse Building
    PO Box 40416
    Olympia, WA 98504
    (360) 786 – 7630

  • Representative Terry Nealey (R)
    16th Legislative District

    Olympia Office
    404 John L. O’Brien Building
    PO Box 40600
    Olympia, WA 98504
    (360) 786 – 7828

    District Office
    26 E Main St Ste 8
    Walla Walla, WA 99362-1957
    (509) 526 – 6284

  • Representative Bill Jenkin (R)
    16th Legislative District

    Olympia Office
    417 John L. O’Brien Building
    PO Box 40600
    Olympia, WA 98504
    (360) 786 – 7836

111 North 6th Avenue Walla Walla, WA 99362 Box Office: 509.529.6500 Contact Us