HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia announced $2 million will be used to restore the iconic Victory Theatre.

A news conference was held in the Mayor’s Office at Holyoke City Hall Thursday with State Representative Pat Duffy, State Senator John Velis and the team from the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts (MIFA) to share updates on the Victory Theatre restoration
project. The Suffolk Street 1,600-seat theatre dates back to the 1920s and has been closed since 1979.

A total of $2 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding will be used to help reopen Victory Theatre for touring Broadway musicals, plays, and special international events. The Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, or “MIFA,” acquired the theatre in 2009 in hopes of completely restoring and becoming a major theatre in western Massachusetts.

“MIFA is grateful to Mayor Garcia for having the vision to see how the Victory Theatre can be a transformative part of Holyoke’s recovery from the pandemic and vision for a bright future,” said Donald T. Sanders, MIFA’s executive artistic director. “Retrofitted with 21st- century technology and put back into service as a state-of-the-art regional performing arts center, the magnificent theater will be an engine for urban revitalization, economic development, and civic pride and health,” Sanders said. “MIFA is privileged to participate in bringing Mayor Garcia’s vision to fruition.”

The $61 million restoration project campaign will be led by the Victory Theatre Community Fundraising Strike Team, the Entrepreneurial Strike Team, and the Victory Theatre Building Committee.

Mayor Garcia’s Victory Theatre Community Strike Team

CHAIR: Stefany Garcia, wife of Holyoke Mayor Joshua A. Garcia; Family Access and Engagement Coordinator, Holyoke Public Schools


  • Ari Berezin, Mt. Holyoke Management
  • Gloria Caballero-Roca, educator and community activist
  • Rory Casey, Holyoke Treasurer
  • Patti Devine, former Holyoke City Councilor
  • Joe Charles Mazzola, owner, Paper City Fabrics
  • Andrew Melendez, Director/Founder, Latino Economic Development Corporation
  • Priscilla Rivera, co-owner, City Sports Bar, Holyoke
  • Cesar Ruiz, President & CEO, Golden Years Home Services
  • Melvin Sanchez, business development, Full Power Radio
  • Elizabeth Simpson, Director of Grants & Philanthropy, Holyoke Public Schools
  • Elaine Vega, Vice President, Housing Management Resources, Inc.
  • Monica Velez, co-owner, Jibaritos Sports Club


CHAIR: Aaron Vega, Holyoke Director of Planning & Economic Development; former State Representative, 5th Hampden (2012-2020)


  • Kathy Anderson, Holyoke community leader, former Holyoke Director of Planning & Economic Development
  • Delcie Bean, Founder & President, Tech Foundry; Founder & CEO, Paragus Strategic IT
  • Jeff Bianchine, Managing Director, The Print Shop, Inc., former Holyoke Creative Industries Coordinator
  • Jordan Hart, Executive Director, Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce
  • Jeff Hayden, Vice President, Business & Community Services, Holyoke Community College; former Holyoke Director of Planning & Economic Development
  • Jennifer Keitt, Development Specialist, Holyoke Office of Planning & Economic Development
  • Matthew Mainville, Executive Director, Holyoke Housing Authority
  • Tessa Murphy-Romboletti, Executive Director, EforAll Holyoke; Holyoke city councilor


CHAIR: Michael Kane, Eversource, Community Relations; former State Representative, 5th Hampden (2001-2012)


  • Priscilla Chesky, Esq., Lyon & Fitzpatrick
  • Carl Eger, Vice Chair, Holyoke Redevelopment Authority Board of Directors
  • Don Humason, Chester Town Administrator; former Westfield Mayor and former State Senator, 2nd Hampden & Hampshire District (2013-2020)
  • Dr. Alfred Hutt, retired
  • Bill Johnson, President & CEO, Hampshire Towing
  • Susan Knightly, President, Ferry Hill Management