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The Colonial Theatre Board -- now the Colonial Arts Center Board -- selected John Waltz as its president during its May 14 meeting.

Renovated Colonial Theatre renamed Colonial Arts Center, theater board selects president

BUCKHANNON – The Colonial Theatre Board voted on an official new name, its chairperson and vice chairperson.

The Buckhannon Colonial Theater Board had its first working session May 14, where groundwork was laid for the future of the theater. The first order of business was to decide who would become the chairperson and vice-chairperson. Board member Erika Klie Kolenich nominated John Waltz for the chairperson position, and Kolenich was voted the vice-chairperson. Other members of the board include Keith Buchanan, Alicia Lively and Randy Sanders.

The next order of business was to propose a new name for the building.

“We have used different names and titling for the space, and then separate titling for the adjacent art gallery contained within, so we thought one of the first things we should was establish a working name to use for the space,” Waltz said. “I think Erica at one of our early meetings posited the Colonial Center for the Arts, or the CCA and I thought that sounded succinct and was encompassing of the arts, not just theater or music.”

Waltz said they also considered the Colonial Arts Center or CAC for a more concise acronym.

“When I’m promoting things, I like to have that CAC for Creative Arts because when you hear CAC, I automatically think Creative Arts Center,” Sanders said. “There’s a lot of Creative Arts Centers on campuses of colleges and so forth, and WVU Creative Arts is a space I promoted a lot. When I would say CAC, people automatically knew it was the Creative Arts Center at WVU.”

Waltz entertained a motion to approve the new name, ‘The Colonial Arts Center,” Kolenich made the motion and Lively seconded.

The board also approved a mission statement for the space, which read: “The Colonial Art Center will serve as a community arts hub, facilitating and provided venues for creative and educational opportunities for students, artists and audience members through diverse programming.”

The board also decided to allow ART 26201, a group whose mission is to promote and celebrate the arts, to continue operating the Colonial Theater Gallery.

“ART 26201 has been generally operating the gallery, and has an interest in continuing that management, while we’re figuring out what that arrangement is, I think it would be appropriate for Bryson to speak on that,” Waltz said.

ART 26201 President Bryson Van Nostrand said they have worked with several artists in the gallery since they took over and have more already scheduled.

ART 26201 President and city architect Bryson Van Nostrand

“The city council voted to allow ART 26201 to manage the gallery, until such time as a board was appointed and operating procedures were put in place, so it puts us in an interesting spot because we’ve at least made verbal commitments to artists for the next seven months, so we’ve stopped trying to book shows into 2022,” Van Nostrand said.

The board agreed to allow ART 26201 to continue operating the gallery until there is a more permanent system put into place.

The board also discussed several operating factors, including prioritization of usage, the application process, maintenance and housekeeping, fee structuring and the possibility of hiring a director. However, no final decisions were made on some of these topics and will continue to be discussed during their next working session at 1 p.m. June 11 at city hall.

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