The Colonial Arts Center on Main Street in Buckhannon. (Photo by Monica Zalaznik / My Buckhannon)

Colonial Arts Center plans to facilitate array of community programs: Theater, dance and more in the pipeline

BUCKHANNON – The Colonial Arts Center is beginning to develop programming ideas that the whole community can enjoy.

CAC director Anne Wilson said she has reached out to several individuals about teaching at the CAC or forming groups affiliated with arts center.

“I have been talking with Sawyer Alderman, and they have reached out to me about wanting to start a theater education program with classes and a community theater troupe,” Wilson said. “This would be a little bit different from Buckhannon Community Theatre because it allows middle school-age students and high school-age students to actually join a troupe. The dues for that would be very affordable, approximately $2 to $3 a month for students, if we decide to jump into that.”

Wilson has also contacted someone interested in offering a variety of dance classes at the CAC.

“I’m also talking with Em Pechon about teaching some dance classes — we’ve been talking about adult classes including hip hop, ballet, musical theater and jazz, and then kids’ classes for ballet and contemporary,” Wilson said. “She would also like to do some classes for all ages, such as tap and possibly clogging, while I also want to begin some dance classes of my own, teaching Highland dance because that’s something I do have a background with.”

Wilson also wants to kick off basic art classes for younger children from pre-K to second grade, and a member of the community hopes to start a community band.

“I’ve also been talking with Braden Hoffman, who was a band ambassador for WAMSB; he wants to start a Buckhannon community band,” Wilson said. “He told me that one of the directors at the high school is already starting the community choir, so I think that this could be something really interesting to dive into. I’ve told them all that ideally, all of this can kick off in November after we have our grand opening. We’ll just try some things at first and see how they go.”

The construction on the inside of the building on Main Street continues, but the board is now looking for equipment and seating.

“Some of the few things we need are trim along baseboards, the ADA chairlift that goes to the basement isn’t working — I’m not sure what happened there — and then there’s some leftover carpet that needs to be moved out,” Wilson said. “Once we have all that done, we can get a couple more things ready to go in the kitchenette downstairs. I’m also looking into AV equipment for the balcony theater, and then once we have our telescopic seating and all those little things done, we’re ready to have our St. Joseph’s Hospital artwork up by that point.”

CAC board member Keith Buchanan said their seating fundraiser that kicked off in July has already found six people interested in having their name, or a family member or loved one, engraved onto nameplates on the seatbacks.

In other CAC news, Jakob Spruce, the Upshur County Schools Fine Arts Facilitator, submitted his resignation and the board expressed hope the board of education would fill the position again in the future.

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