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City of Manistee
70 Maple Street
Manistee, MI 49660
Ph: (231) 723-2558
Welcome to the Historic Ramsdell Theatre and Community Arts Center
Ramsdell Request for Proposals

Link to Request for Proposals.

The Ramsdell Governing Authority (RGA) that oversees use and operations of the historic Ramsdell Theatre has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to obtain consultant expertise to develop a profitable operating model for the Theatre. The Alliance for Economic Success (AES) is managing the RFP process for the Ramsdell Governing Authority. Press Release.

The goal of this project is to define the correct business and governance model that provides maximum community benefit and supports the core purpose of the facility while enabling the Theatre to operate in a sustainable, profitable manner without an ongoing subsidy. Additional background on the past planning efforts can be found here.

A Project Team has been assembled that consists of diverse interests that will make a final recommendation to the RGA about the selection of a proposal/respondent. The AES will facilitate review of all proposals by the Project Team to determine the respondents that will be requested to participate in an interview with the Team. The interviews will be open to members of the public who will have an opportunity to provide input to the Project Team. Assuming a desired proposal/respondent is identified by the Project Team, they will make a recommendation to the RGA.

The project is estimated to cost approximately $20,000. Efforts are underway to secure funding to develop the operating model. Those wishing to make a charitable contribution in support of the effort may do so through the Ramsdell Theatre and Community Arts Center Fund administered by the Manistee County Community Foundation at or by calling (231) 723-7269.

Ramsdell Theatre and Cultural Center
Michael Terry
Executive Director

101 Maple St.
Mailing Address: 70 Maple St.
Manistee, MI  49660

Ph: (231) 398-9770

Historic Past, Bright Future

Historic Landmark
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, The Ramsdell has served the Michigan coastal community of Manistee for over a 100 years. Built in 1903 by local lawyer and philanthropist Thomas Jefferson Ramsdell, the Theatre and Grand Ballroom were designed by re-known Chicago architect Solon Spencer Beman. The Theatre was comparable to the best opera and vaudeville houses at the time of its construction and though extensively renovated over the years, retains much of its original architecture and charm. Visit our History page for more on this facilities historic past.

Community Arts Center
Today the Ramsdell is a vibrant center for arts in West Michigan, home to the Manistee Civic Players and the Manistee Institute of the Arts, the facility plays host to over 200 plus events each year. In addition to musicals, plays and workshops, arts exhibits and classes, the Ramsdell is known for Metropolitan Opera Live Broadcasts, music concerts, dance recitals, weddings and hosting community events like the annual Festival of Trees produced by the Manistee Chamber of Commerce. 

Our Bright Future
With the support of businesses, foundations and the residents of West Michigan, the Ramsdell Theatre and Community Arts Center continues to bring our community together to learn and engage with one another through the arts, cultural activity and stewardship of its historic past. We hope you'll join us in making The Ramsdell a meaningful and significant part of your community experience, its part of what makes Manistee a great place to live and visit!