Staunton’s Arcadia Project pushes forward despite COVID-19 pandemic

Staunton's Arcadia Project pushes forward despite COVID-19 pandemic

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Performing arts have been hit hard during the pandemic, but that’s not holding the Arcadia Project back. They’re pushing forward to restore the historic theatre in downtown Staunton and create a space for people to gather.

The mission of the Arcadia Project is to create community through culture and creativity, but that’s not exactly easy with social distancing restrictions.

“Reasons for gathering have never been more obvious than in the wake of this pandemic,” said Arcadia Project Executive Director Pamela Mason Wagner.

The Arcadia Project is creating a space for those gatherings, renovating the historic theatre and Arcadia building.

“We have completely refreshed the facades of the buildings, repainted and done repair work,” stated Arcadia Project Director Thomas Wagner.

Next up, they’re replacing a part of the theatre roof. They just met their goal of raising the $30,000 needed.

“Our plan is to tackle this work in achievable steps,” said Mason Wagner.

Then they’ll do more fundraising to create a small space inside, hopefully by early 2022.

But even without an indoor space, in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, the Arcadia Project is giving artists a way to perform both on the street and online with the music series ‘Artists Interrupted’.

And, when the pandemic is hopefully a part of the past, there will be a new place to gather. “To see each other in communal spaces, to watch performances in a group whether that’s movies on a screen or a musical group performing,” stated Wagner. “I think that’s going to be an explosion.”

If you’re an artist, the Arcadia Project invites you to reach out, or if you’d like to support their mission, information is available at https://thearcadiaproject.org/.

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