Fairmont Opera House

Creating Today's Memories . . . Preserving Yesterday's

Our Mission is to provide a historical arts and entertainment center with the purpose of promoting cultural growth and community involvement

Welcome to the Fairmont Opera House!


Reflecting After a Year of Service

December 16th marks a year that I have been here at the Fairmont Opera House.  These last few weeks have been hectic:  three shows, a rental, and two shows yet this month.  Not to mention the holidays, spending time with my family, and on occasion, sleep.  As I approach a year as your Executive Director, I began thinking about my life, my career, and the future of both.

My whole life, I have been the “big guy.” I have been the one towering over people, physically larger than most of those around me. However, as I sat in my office this week reflecting on the year that I have been here at the Opera House, the work that we have done in the community, the number of people that have been in our building the last year, the kids we reached, and so much more, I began to feel very small compared to the big things we have accomplished.

To try and clear my thoughts, I took a walk around the building which eventually led me to the stage. As I sat on the front edge, I looked out at all the empty seats and my eyes landed on a single seat: Balcony Left, Row A, Seat 3. It was in this seat that I remember seeing my first show here at the Fairmont Opera House. I came to a school performance of “Lyle Lyle Crocodile” when I was in third grade. I was sitting next to my two best friends, leaning forward in our seats, enthralled by the magic that was occurring on stage.

That was 16 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday.

As I came back to reality, I looked around at the beautiful trim work, the majestic iron chandeliers, the way the lights hit the seats, the curve of the balcony, taking it all in until I had scanned every inch of the room. I felt smaller than I ever had. Surrounded by an impressive theatre with an even more impressive legacy, I felt the presence of those that came before me: Hay, Nicholas, Arneson, and so many more. I felt the thousands of patrons; I imagined laughter, applause, cries of joy and sorrow. I thought of the stories the walls could tell if they could talk. I thought of the thousands of volunteer hours, community donations, and the blood, sweat, and tears that have gone into this facility.

It was then that I realized my true purpose as Executive Director. I have been given an opportunity and assigned a responsibility to be the curator of the history and the keeper of the legacy of the Fairmont Opera House. It is my job to ensure that when I am gone, this facility and organization remain stronger than ever. That being said, I promise to continue to take steps in the direction of continued success, further community involvement, and perpetuating our mission of bringing cultural experiences to our area. We are continuing a legacy that was left for us to live up to, and leaving one that is worthy of future generations.

”I may be here for a short while, gone tomorrow into oblivion or until the days come to take me away. But, in whatever part you play, be remembered as part of a legacy…of sharing dreams and changing humanity for the better. It’s that legacy that never dies.” -Unknown


Blake Potthoff
Executive Director
Fairmont Opera House, Inc.

The “Launch the Legacy” Capital Campaign

The Purpose of the “Launch the Legacy” Campaign is to raise funds to increase patron, staff, and artist safety and accessibility while maintaining the structural and historical integrity of the building and the organization.

Community Support is imperative to the continued success of the Fairmont Opera House.  Since its inception in 1901, the Fairmont Opera House has relied on Fairmont and the surrounding communities to propel its mission forward.  Through the years as the Fairmont Opera House, Haynic Theatre, Nicholas Theatre, and now today as Fairmont Opera House, Inc., we have leaned on and still lean on our members, community supporters, and patrons.

We have again reached a time where we need to ask even more of our beloved supporters.  I, along with our Board of Directors, have decided that it is time for a large-scale fundraiser.  The Fairmont Opera House is a 116-year-old building that has aged well but is in need of our tender love and care to keep it standing for generations to come.

As well as making repairs to our Opera House, we would like to make enhancements to other portions of the building to increase patron, staff, and artist safety and accessibility.  One of these such improvements is the addition of ADA accessibility in the form of ramps, handrails, and an elevator.

To help cover the significant costs associated with these repairs and enhancements, we will need your help.  Please consider joining us in building a financial surplus large enough to accomplish our goals.  Keep in mind that as a 501C3 organization, you can deduct any donation to the Fairmont Opera House from your taxes.

Remember, this is your Opera House.  We are not owned by nor do we receive operating funds from the City of Fairmont, Martin County, or any school district.  This building belongs to you, the members of the community.

Blake Potthoff
Executive Director
Fairmont Opera House, Inc.

Welcome to the 2017-18 Subscription Series!

On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff, I want to welcome you to the 2017-18 Fairmont Opera House Subscription Series!  

This year is shaping up to be one of the biggest and busiest years in Fairmont Opera House history.  We have already seen the triumphant return of Civic Summer Theatre with their production of “Grease” and one of the largest and most successful Childrens Theatre Camps in Opera House history.  Coming up this year, we have 10 Subscription Shows, 6 Al A Carte shows, several rentals, movie rentals, a dance recital, and so much more.

But the excitement does not end with the shows.  The ripple effect of what we are accomplishing here in Fairmont is being felt throughout the state.  In the last 6 months, I have been asked to serve on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Presenters Network, work as an adjudicator on the Minnesota State Arts Board Touring Grant Panel, and attend several conferences and events as a special guest and speaker. 

I am so blessed to be part of this organization and receive all of these accolades, but none of it would be possible without you, the patrons.  Because of your unending support, I am able to come to work every day to a job that I love, work with people who are among the best I’ve met, and serve a community that is second to none.  For that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

All my best,

Blake Potthoff
Executive Director
Fairmont Opera House