I am writing this letter in favor of the Commercial Street Theatre Project. This is something the Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth can really support. Our children's performing arts company is growing. If this proposed theaterwas up and running right now, I would like to start doing our larger shows there. The Walton Theatre at Mount Baker Theatre is nice and I love the staff there, but Walton isn't as well set up as this will be. The stage in Walton is very small and won't work for larger theater productions or any dance performances. Also the Walton space is more expensive, is in demand for receptions during mainstage shows and cannot seat as many as Commercial Street will be able to accommodate. Having a space like the Commercial Street Theatre Project in town will be good for all local arts groups, for local businesses and the community at large. In this world where being competitive seems to be part of our culture, we have an opportunity as a community that supports the arts to be inclusive and non-competitive through supporting the Commercial Street Theatre Project. If we model collaboration and synergy as arts organizations, it's a win for everyone. Mark and Pam Kuntz, who have led this project, suggest having many people donate just $5 for this drive to be a success. If you care to get involved or learn more, please go to cstproject.org.