Cen­ter Sig­nif­i­cant To City

McDonald County Press - - COUNTY - Megan Davis

South­west City’s Arts Cen­ter holds both cul­tural and artis­tic sig­nif­i­cance to res­i­dents of the small town.

The land­mark build­ing was con­structed in 1886 and served as the lo­cal Pres­by­te­rian Church for close to a cen­tury. A unique, triple-gabled roof and stun­ning stained-glass win­dows high­light the build­ing’s fa­cade.

In the 1990s, as the con­gre­ga­tion dwin­dled and the build­ing sat va­cant, the dio­cese do­nated the church to be used as an arts cen­ter. The South­west City Arts Cen­ter was sub­se­quently formed as a non-profit to pro­mote art and his­tory aware­ness within the com­mu­nity while also fund­ing ren­o­va­tions to the his­toric build­ing.

The orig­i­nal board of direc­tors even­tu­ally dis­banded, but Megan Hill and Con­nie Adams took ini­tia­tive and re-kin­dled lo­cal in­ter­est in the Arts Cen­ter.

Hill and Adams are now pres­i­dent co-chairs of the board.

“Nei­ther of us could do it alone, but we both hated the thought of the build­ing fall­ing into dis­re­pair,” said Hill. “Our part­ner­ship works out per­fectly.”

Since June of last year, the board has made strides to im­prove the his­toric build­ing; they’ve re-caulked the win­dows and re­placed bro­ken panes, painted the in­te­rior and ex­te­rior, and in­stalled an ac­cess door from the lower an­nex to the stage in or­der for per­form­ers to more eas­ily move from back­stage to on-stage.

“Our fu­ture goals are to, even­tu­ally, make the stage hand­i­capped ac­ces­si­ble,” said Hill. “We would also like to re-floor the stage and pur­chase a new cur­tain.”

She said the build­ing will need a new roof in the near fu­ture as well.

Re­pairs are pri­mar­ily fi­nanced through donors in the com­mu­nity and fundrais­ers such as the an­nual Turkey Trot on Thanks­giv­ing, but a num­ber of up­com­ing events are sched­uled at the Arts Cen­ter to help fuel progress.

On Fri­day, Oct. 13, and Satur­day, Oct. 14, the cen­ter will present “The Crazy Quilt Club,” a funny, fast­paced mys­tery set in a re­tire­ment home full of quil­ters and knit­ters.

Cu­rios­ity at the re­tire­ment home piques when one of the res­i­dents dies af­ter drink­ing bad punch. Clues be­gin to ap­pear and other res­i­dents turn up dead as the story un­rav­els. Add in a black wi­dow spi­der, an old cave, a gold nugget, an omi­nous phone call, a storm-in­duced power outage, and a col­or­ful cast of fa­mil­iar faces and ridicu­lous­ness en­sues.

To re­main up­dated on events and classes at the Arts Cen­ter, fol­low its page on Face­book: The South­west City Arts Cen­ter.

The Arts Cen­ter hosted a num­ber of youth-ori­ented events over the sum­mer as well, in­clud­ing free drum lessons once a week and two Art Camps. In the first ses­sion, artists were given a blank can­vas of white sneak­ers and un­lim­ited cre­ative free­dom. Mark­ers, pens and paint were de­lib­er­ately ap­plied and dried, then the kids were able to wear their new­est mas­ter­pieces. In the sec­ond ses­sion, trash be­came art as kids up-cy­cled used wa­ter bot­tles into whim­si­cal paper-mache bird sculp­tures.

Re­mark­able ar­chi­tec­ture, sloped seat­ing and a softly-arched stage area make the Arts Cen­ter a won­der­ful venue for wed­dings, re­cep­tions, meet­ings, and pre­sen­ta­tions too. The build­ing can ac­com­mo­date 100 guests and is equipped with a small kitchen, re­stroom and spa­cious side­yard. And lo­cal busi­nesses such as The Cor­ner Cafe, The Ban­quet House and Tim­bered-Inn Cater­ing can pro­vide a full, fresh cater­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

The South­west City Arts Cen­ter is lo­cated at 207 Broad­way Street in South­west City.

Those in­ter­ested in rent­ing the venue may con­tact Megan Hill at 479-633-1938 or Con­nie Adams at 417-3660498.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.