Project Updates

December 29, 2021 - Victory tour with newly elected Holyoke City Councilors.


ARPA Funding Articles

Holyoke’s Victory Theatre receives $250K in COVID relief funds

Donald T. Sanders, executive director of the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts (MIFA), stands in Holyoke’s Victory Theatre, which MIFA plans to restore. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

By STEVE PFARRER Staff Writer Published: 12/23/2021 3:27:27 PM

HOLYOKE — Efforts to restore the 100-year-old Victory Theatre in Holyoke have received a significant boost: $250,000 in funding from the federal government’s American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA . . . READ MORE

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Holyoke Victory Theater renovation awarded $250K in American Rescue Plan Act funding

Donald Sanders, Massachusetts Festival of the Arts artistic director, stands in the balcony of the Victory Theater in Holyoke on March 31. Efforts to renovate the theater are moving forward. (Don Treeger / The Republican file photo)

Published: Dec. 16, 2021, 6:02 p.m.

By Dennis Hohenberger | Special to The Republican

HOLYOKE — The Victory Theater renovation project has gotten a $250,000 boost thanks to a new state law allocating federal COVID-19 relief funds... READ MORE


November 23, 2021 - Victory Theatre open house for Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce Power Hour event!


Doors Open Holyoke!

Come take a peek inside Holyoke's last remaining Broadway-sized historic theater!

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Tours at 1PM, 2PM, & 3PM

Free Registrations is required, visit

Please see Safety Protocols for all guidelines


September 20, 2021 - SVOG Spotlight: Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts,, Local Assistance, District Office List, Massachusetts District Office, Success Stories

"Executive Artistic Director Don Sanders leads MIFA, which has been a catalyst in providing an outlet to young people interested getting involved in the arts."


August 17, 2021 - Tour of the Victory with State Representative Jake Oliveira, Ayanna Crawford, aide to State Rep. Orlando Ramos.


GAZETTENET.COM - Downing touts Holyoke’s Victory Theatre renovation

HOLYOKE — Stepping into the shadowy lobby of the historic Victory Theatre...READ MORE

By DUSTY CHRISTENSEN, Staff Writer, Daily Hampshire Gazette, Published: 8/11/2021 4:46:39 PM



August 11, 2021 - Victory tour with Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former Senator Ben Downing.


August 10, 2021 - Victory Theatre tour with Juan Falcon, Executive Director of the Hispanic-American Library in Springfield, MA.


August 7, 2021 - Street Art

Victory Theatre Image on Downtown Holyoke Traffic Light Utility Box

We are excited to have the Victory Theatre's image chosen for the Summer Evening Youth Program street art murals by Enlace de Familias and Nueva Esperanza, Inc.! Come check out artist Jeff Marcil's (Allest Arts) 1930s inspired #VictoryTheatre mural and the progress of the youth painters on Cabot and Main in downtown #Holyoke.

Special thanks to Betty Medina Lichtenstein (Enlace de Familias) and Chloe Soto (Nueva Esperanza)!


JUL 26, 2021 - SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Congressman Richard Neal announced more than $20 million in area funding from the Small Business Administration's shuttered venues operation grant. - Western Mass News

Across Massachusetts, there have been 244 grants awarded.

The full list of western Massachusetts recipients appears below:

  • Agawam Cinemas, Agawam - $49,815

  • Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, Becket - $1,492,373

  • Chester Theatre Company, Chester - $81,357

  • Public Emily, Inc., Conway - $193,779

  • Stationery Factory Events, Dalton - $132,652

  • Luthier’s Co-Op, Easthampton - $134,398

  • Berkshire Choral International, Great Barrington - $525,735

  • Berkshire International Film Festival, Great Barrington - $47,713

  • Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington - $296,530

  • Shaw Entertainment Group, Great Barrington - $99,114

  • Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, Holyoke - $491,035

  • Athlone Artists, Lenox - $15,187

  • Edith Wharton Restoration, Lenox - $184,493

  • WAM Theatre, Lenox - $43,383

  • Exit Seven Players, Ludlow - $43,996

  • HiLo Holding Company, North Adams - $116,523

  • Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation, North Adams - $2,636,094

  • Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield - $608,989

  • Berkshire Theatre Group, Pittsfield - $923,619

  • Corcoran Productions, Richmond - $28,253

  • PDP Productions, Shelburne - $11,350

  • The Egremont Village Inn, South Egremont - $257,720

  • Triplex Management Corporation, South Egremont - $396,099

  • South Hadley’s Tower Theatres - $167,865

  • Bold New Directors, Southampton - $287,040

  • Cindy Pettibone, Southwick - $52,476

  • Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield - $3,740,728

  • Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Springfield - $285,817

  • Old Sturbridge, Inc., Sturbridge - $2,858,798

  • NV Concepts Unlimited, West Springfield - $1,609,453

  • The Theatre Project, West Springfield - $726,224

  • Community Images Inc, Williamstown - $124,765

  • Williamstown Theatre Foundation, Williamstown - $1,347,489

Press Release: Neal Announces Nearly $4 Million from the U.S. Small Business Administration


July 22, 2021 - Victory Tour with Mayoral candidate Joshua Garcia


July 22, 2021 - Victory Tour with Mayoral candidate Diosdado Lopez


July 21, 2021 - Victory Tour with Mayoral candidate Gloria Caballero-Roca


June 30, 2021 - Victory Tour with Mayoral candidate Rebecca Lisi


April 1, 2021 - Victory Tour with Mayoral candidate Billy Glidden


March 9, 2021 - Victory Tour with Mayoral candidate Devin Sheehan


March 31, 2021 - Phase 1 of the Victory Theatre restoration process has begun. Gathering at the site for an update from Don Sanders, MIFA Executive Artistic Director.


March 30, 2021 - ‘We want to put it back the way it was’: Holyoke’s Victory Theater takes next step as funeral home demolition makes way for annex," By Dennis Hohenberger | Special to The Republican


MARCH 24, 2021, DEMO DAY! Curran Construction begins demo on 134 Chestnut street building to make room for new Victory Theatre Annex.


MARCH 24, 2021, DEMO DAY! Curran Construction begins demo on 134 Chestnut street building to make room for new Victory Theatre Annex.


Please join us for an update on our progress Wednesday, March 31st – 11 am outside 134 Chestnut Street.  All are welcome. Plenty of room for social distancing.  Please wear a mask.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tick Tick Tick Boom: MIFA Victory Theatre Restoration plans move forward with demolition of 134 Chestnut St. property. HOLYOKE, MA –  March 24, 2021 — MIFA Victory Theatre and Curran Construction begin demolition of the buildings at 134 Chestnut St., Holyoke MA as Phase 1 of the much-anticipated Victory Restoration begins. MIFA Victory Theatre purchased the 134 Chestnut St. property directly adjacent to the theater’s north side in 2019 to replace it with a completely new 14,500 sq ft building, the Victory Theatre Annex. The Annex designed by DBVW Architects will house essential service, facilities management, technical, dressing room, office, and loading dock space unable to be accommodated in the theater’s historic footprint and needed to make the Victory a state of the art 21st-century theater.

“Demolition of 134 is a critical moment in the Victory’s progress. By taking down 134 Chestnut St. we open the possibilities to allow larger theatre companies to come to Holyoke. Everything great about our city will be reflected in the wonderfully restored Victory Theatre. We’ve even saved some beautiful doors from 134 and a fireplace mantel to be installed in the D’Amour Room of the Victory,” said Don Sanders, Executive Artistic Director.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Contact Emily at 413-540-0200 or


February 4, 2021, Victory Tour with Four Trees Holyoke cannabis team


 ‘When it was over, I didn’t want to leave my seat’: 28 celebs share their first movie theater memories, by Tim Nasson, October 9, 2020,

Actress and Holyoke native Ann Dowd remembers watching “Mary Poppins” at the Victory Theatre in Holyoke, Mass. –Globe Archives

“The first movie that I can remember seeing [in a movie theater] was ‘Mary Poppins’ [1964]. When it was over, I didn’t want to leave my seat, I wanted it to start again. There was a little girl crying and her father was holding her because she was so sad that Mary Poppins left at the end. The name of the theater was the Victory Theater in Holyoke, Mass.” — Ann Dowd, Emmy winner, Best Supporting Actress, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” upcoming “Rebecca” remake; born and raised in Holyoke”


Their two projects (International Tennis Hall of Fame and BankNewport) received the 2020 Doris Duke Preservation Awards! DBVW’s outstanding historic preservation work is one of the many reasons we have chosen them to restore the iconic Victory Theatre.

More info here:


July 27, 2020, Tour with Senator John Velis


The Victory Theatre's roof was recently inspected and had repairs made as part of general upkeep for the building's safety and security.


Behind The Scenes – News and updates, February 2020 Michelle and Donald D’Amour, shown here at the Big Y corporate offices in Springfield ( Manon Mirabelli photo)

Catalyst Donor Pledge Fulfilled!

Donald D’Amour, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Springfield-based Big Y Foods, Inc., expresses his enthusiasm for the Victory Theatre project:

” As the Catalyst Donor for this project, I have committed significant personal resources to reopen the theater as a regional performing arts center because I believe in its transformative potential, both culturally and as a driver of economic development.” ….. Read More HERE


News From MIFA Victory Theatre, December 5, 2019

MIFA Victory Theatre is pleased to announce its acquisition of 134 Chestnut Street in downtown Holyoke, a key development in the Victory’s restoration and reopening. Funding for the 134 Chestnut acquisition was provided through the generosity of the Beveridge Family Foundation, Catalyst Donors Donald and Michele D’Amour, and the Friends of MIFA Victory Theatre. The property, which adjoins the b

ack of the theater was acquired on November 5, 2019…Read More HERE


Arts Beat – MIFA Victory Theatre, December 18, 2019, Westfield News, by Mark G. Auerbach


Music Video at the Victory!

Celebrated dancer and choreographer Sabi Varga, dances to The Well Pennies‘ instrumental piece The Starling off of the new album “Murmurations”. Sabi danced inside The Victory Theater in Holyoke Massachusetts, a theater that is currently being restored back to its former glory. The music video was directed and edited by Michael Vanderpool.

Listen to The Well Pennies on Spotify:…

Sabi Varga

YouTube –…

Facebook –…


MIFA receives  $100,000.00 Community Preservation Act Grant

Victory Theatre Sconces

On March 13, 2019, the Community Preservation Act Committee (CPAC) voted to recommend the award of the full requested amount of $100,000. This vote was subsequently approved by the City Council on April 2, 2019.  Read: CPA 2019 Award letter

MIFA applied for the restoration of 63 light fixtures that will be cleaned and restored to their original condition and reinstalled into the Victory.

See more on the Victory and other CPA projects on Holyoke’s Community Preservation Committee website here:


News: MIFA-Victory Theater receives $100K grant contingent on full construction funding, strict timetable, April 3, 2019,, by Dennis Hohenberger



News: Architectural plans approved for Holyoke’s Victory Theater,  Jan 24, 2:47 PM, By Dennis Hohenberger,


MIFA Creative Cast Visit Other Historic Theaters

In September and October MIFA’s Creative Cast of architects, OUR construction manager, theater consultants, and experts paid visits to three extraordinary working theaters like the Victory to see how they’ve addressed preservation and construction issues to successfully house a variety of acts, shows, and ambitious programming.

“The managements and staff of Broadway’s Schoenfeld (formerly Plymouth), Boston’s Emerson Colonial (under new 40 year lease to London’s Ambassador Theatre Group) and Providence’s PPAC we’re incredibly warm and welcoming and the visits absolutely eye-opening for our Victory plans.” – MIFA Victory Executive Artistic Director Don Sanders

Historic Tax Credits News Briefs – October 2018

Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits Volume 9 Issue 10

Friday, October 5, 2018

The Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts (MIFA) announced Aug. 15 that Gov. Charlie Baker signed the 2018 Economic Development Bond bill into law, which will provide the organization with $11 million for the renovation of the Victory Theatre in Holyoke. MIFA plans to restore and operate the 1,600-seat historic theater, built-in 1920, which closed in 1979. The financing package includes state and federal historic tax credits (HTCs) and new markets tax credits. The state also previously awarded MIFA a $2 million bond-financing package. Renovations costs are expected to total $43 million, with a reopening target date of Dec. 20, 2020.  –


El Sol Latino | October 2018 |Published on Oct 2, 2018


Editorial: Victory Theatre restoration worth it, By THE EDITORIAL BOARD, Wednesday, September 26, 2018, Daily Hampshire Gazette

The Victory Theater in Holyoke seats 1600. The seats will be refurbished as part of the renovation project which just received 13 million in bonds from the state on Monday, September 17, 2018.


Holyoke’s Victory Theatre renovation project gets $13M infusion of state funds By Luis Fieldman, Monday, September 17, 2018, Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Daily Hampshire Gazette—STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS


WWLP 22 News Coverage of the Victory Theatre Press Conference

September 2018


Victory Theatre Press Conference September 17, 2018


August 15, 2018


Governor Baker has signed into law the 2018 Economic Development Bond bill providing $11 million to advance the renovation of the Victory Theatre in Holyoke. Combined with an earlier 2018 facilities bond bill, the State has now authorized $13 million in bond funds in support of the Victory Theatre project…READ MORE:


July 11, 2018

A House earmark of $2 million in the $666 million economic development bill would go toward renovating the Victory Theater in Holyoke.

Massachusetts House tacks $125 million in earmarks onto economic development bond bill – By Shira Schoenberg, The Republican/, July 11, 2018.


June 28, 2018


BOSTON/HOLYOKE – The Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts (MIFA) Victory Theatre has been awarded $2 million in state support through the Capital Assets Bond Bill signed recently by Gov. Baker. Holyoke’s state senator Don Humason (R-Westfield), Senate Assistant Minority Leader, sponsored the amendment that earmarked the $2 million for the MIFA Victory Theatre project. The $2 million will be used toward renovating and reopening the historic Holyoke theater as a game-changer for the performing arts and tourism in the Pioneer Valley and a force of consequence for economic development in Holyoke and the surrounding region…READ MORE:


Victory Tour w/ legislators

Senator Don Humason hosted an informational meeting at MIFA Victory Theatre in #Holyoke on Monday, October 30, 2017.

MIFA’s Executive Director Don Sanders led tour of the Victory Theatre with Senator Eric Lesser, State Rep Aaron Vega, State Rep Solomon Goldstein-Rose, Delcie Bean of Paragus Strategic I.T., MIFA’s  Managing Director Katherine McKean, MIFA’s Tax Credit Financing Consultant Barbara Sokoloff, and MIFA’s development volunteers Geoffrey and Linda O’Connell. See more photos on our Facebook page:


October 25, 2017 - Filming at the Victory Theatre! The movie "Leo And The Shark," film on location in the theatre.


Photo by Dave Roback. See more photos here:

Holyoke’s historic Victory Theatre’s storefronts exposed in bid for federal tax credits (photos, video), By The Republican Photo Desk, June 23, 2017,


Is the Victory Theatre haunted? Check out some interesting discoveries the Pioneer Valley Paranormal group found while investigating the historic Victory Theatre in #Holyoke!


Click here for more photos!

Behind the Scenes: Victory Theater in Holyoke, abandoned for almost 40 years – By Heather Adams,, April 26, 2017


Click here to see more photos

Exploring Victory Theater, abandoned for almost 40 years, with Massachusetts Instagrammer


This review process is key to the restoration and reopening of the theater and qualifies the Victory Theatre Project for Federal Historic Tax Credits!

Find out more about the NPS Historic Preservation here:


We are pleased to announce that the MIFA Victory Theatre Project was awarded an additional $100,000.00 in Massachusetts Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit funds, putting us at a total of $4.4 Million!

We would like to thank Chairman Secretary William Galvin and the Massachusetts Historical Commission for their continued support.

MIFA will be applying for the next round on April 30, 2017.

Find out more about the MCRTC program here:


Massachusetts Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Funds:

We are pleased to announce that the MIFA Victory Theatre Project was awarded an additional $100,000.00 in Massachusetts Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit (MHRTC) funds, putting us at a total of  $4.3M!