I can’t believe a year has already gone by since the Prospector Theater rolled out the pink carpet and opened its doors! It seems like only yesterday we were working to make sure all of the finishing touches would be ready for the big opening day. As much as we looked forward with anticipation to see the building completed, nothing could have prepared us for what was to come.
For years we had been working on the design of the building with the mission of the theater on our minds and Valerie’s vision in our hearts but it was the final finishing touch that truly opened our eyes to what we were really doing here. What was that final finishing touch you ask? The Prospects, of course. We’ll never forget the day we were at the theater during one of their first training sessions. Looking down into the lobby space, we saw Valerie’s vision come to life – Prospects were sitting on the large wood steps having breakfast, getting to know each other, laughing and sharing stories before their training session began. They were becoming a family before our very eyes and the design of the lobby had provided a dynamic space for them to congregate and socialize. Since then, every time we visit the theater the atmosphere is filled with love and happiness and it doesn’t take long to realize that Prospects love to work here.
As architects, one of the most fulfilling things is the opportunity to see a project fully constructed and complete. Watching the Prospects in the lobby that day made us realize that there is, in fact, a more fulfilling feeling and it is one that we will never forget.
And the best part is – the opening was just the beginning! Over the past year, the Prospector has dazzled us with innovative promotions, uber-creative music videos, previews, YouTube Talk Shows (Subscribe Here!) and delicious movie-themed treats (the Krabby Patty cupcakes are still my all-time favorite!). They have held outstanding movie premieres, special events, film festivals and most importantly, the Prospects have showed us that with a little imagination and a whole lot of heart, the possibilities are endless!
We have learned so much about the Prospects and have been able to witness first-hand just how hard they work and how truly valuable they are to the theater and to the community. We have watched them grow and have watched ourselves grow with them. The building has become their home, their canvas for all the wonderful things they do and this couldn’t bring us greater joy!
From a segment on NBC Nightly News to being honored by none other than the New York Yankees during HOPE Week, the story of the Prospector and the importance of meaningful employment for adult with disabilities is starting to reach a nationwide audience!
One year ago we, here at DCA, learned that sometimes a building is so much more than just a building. Over the past year, moviegoers have learned that a theater can be so much more than just movies and popcorn. By inviting us on their journey, the Prospector has taught us how important it is to open our eyes, enjoy the experience and to support meaningful employment in any way we can.
Each month brings new and exciting things at the Prospector and the month of Novem… – oops – i mean the month of ‘Sparklevember’ is no different. If you haven’t done so already, please take a look at the exciting series of events happening during Sparklevember in honor of the Prospector’s FIRST EVER birthday celebration!
One last fantastic thing worth mentioning is the Prospector’s Wish Book – a beautiful book filled with so many wonderful ways to support the mission of the theater and to interact with the Prospects – another sparkling example of just how special the Prospector is!
Congratulations to Valerie and all the Prospects – Live Long and Prospector!!