By Antoinette Perratta
The Center for the Arts has been providing a venue for men, women and children of all ages, to experience higher culture for 11 years.
The Center is an all-volunteer theatre and art gallery. That means they rely heavily on funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission, and various other sponsors from the area whom they call their “Center Stars.” The center also benefits from theatre patrons.
The Center for the Arts is a beautiful Italianate structure, built in 1909. The building served first as the Post Office, and later on as the Linbaugh Library. In December of 1995, after extensive remodeling, it opened to the public as the Center for the Arts, and has proudly served the community since.
But now the paint is beginning to flake and the carpet is getting shabby. This jewel, nestled on West College Street, is in need of a facelift.
CFTA’s new managing director, Gary Davis, has high hopes for 2007. Davis became involved with the Center in 2003 and has participated in over 14 productions. He has worked on all aspects of the shows from lighting and sound to singing and acting on stage.
“It’s a job that was once just a hobby” said Davis with a big grin.
His position oversees all aesthetics, operations and finances for the Center.
“I want to fix up the building for the public,” says Davis.
Davis is already working to improve the box-office and work, office areas and eventually wants to add a concession booth. According to Davis, this is a slow process, from getting the funding to working around the scheduled shows.
“We are able to put on 12 shows a year now,” Davis said.
But you have to act fast to get your tickets. The theatre only seats 112. In the past the theatre has accommodated up to 132 with the addition of chairs, but only at the cost of much needed stage space.