In 1988, the Dakota Prairie Playhouse
Company was incorporated for the specific purpose of building a theater
complex in Madison. The corporation was formed exclusively for
charitable, educational purposes within the meaning of Sections
501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
A survey identified that, in addition
to the needs of SDSU's Prairie Repertory Theatre, which was popular
locally and regionally, there was a range of needs for a theater and
conference facility to serve the community, the region, and Madison's
Dakota State University (DSU).
Dakota State University's provision
of the building site, with approval by the South Dakota Board of Regents
to a 99-year lease, as well as DSU's commitment to provide support of
the facility, set the stage for a major fund-raising campaign.
Dakota Prairie Playhouse
Company raised over $1.2 of the $1.5 million needed. Funds received
have been from individual and corporate contributions, pledges,
foundation donations, state grants and an FmHA loan. Foundation
donations have been contributed by Burlington Northern, Northwestern
Public Services, Midcontinent, Norwest Bank, Spies Super Valu, Quaker
Oats Company, U.S. West Foundation, ANZA Foundation, The Karl E. Mundt
Educational and Historical Foundation, and others.