The DeKalb Outdoor Theater Project was initiated by a group of individuals in DeKalb County, Indiana, who recognized the need to promote the arts as an integral part of the community. This group consisted of a cross-section of the community; mayor, park superintendent, banking, industry, fair board, education, and performing arts.
It was recognized that there are a variety of groups within DeKalb County that would benefit from a centrally located facility that would provide a venue for the performing arts that could accommodate small to large audiences.
The Outdoor Theater location that was chosen is located in the flood plain near downtown Auburn, Indiana, making significant use of land that would otherwise be unused. The site itself is a combination of property owned by the City of Auburn (Indiana) and the DeKalb County Fair Association.
The design of the facility is such that the stage is sized for large performing groups with provisions for lighting, sound systems, seating, dressing areas and rest rooms. Initial funds for planning were provided by the Dekko Foundation and the DeKalb County Community foundation.
Ongoing operation funding comes from a variety of donors and event sponsors.
The facility is operated by The DeKalb Outdoor Theater Board, Inc., an independent board which is made of a diverse group interested in the arts.
The DeKalb Outdoor Theater opened for its first season of events in 2009. The response by the community has been overwhelming.