Heart of Our Town – Capital Campaign
Mission: Raise $2,000,000 to renovate the Clarksville Fine Arts Center
History: The aging Clarksville High School was torn down in 1985. Fortunately, the auditorium, built in 1934 with funds from The Works Progress Administration , was spared. Today the building is owned by the Town of Clarksville and has been re-purposed as the 288-seat Clarksville Fine Arts Center and is leased to the Clarksville Community Players.
Significance to the community: In 2002, the main business district of Clarksville was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The only institutional building included in this designation is The Clarksville Fine Arts Center. It is the only place many children and adults can participate in music, dance, and theater arts. It has grown to include programs for children, young adults, and seniors. The facility also serves as a gathering place for community celebrations and performances. The Fine Arts Center is the only such facility serving this Kerr Lake community.
State of the community: For decades the economic prosperity of Clarksville was tied to tobacco and textiles. Today those industries are largely gone. While there is growth from tourism and information technology investments by Microsoft and Hewlett Packard, the community remains largely rural. Agriculture, forestry, and recreation are vital to the economy. Clarksville is unique in that it is the only lakeside, incorporated town in Virginia. Kerr Lake, completed in 1952 by the US Army Corps of Engineers, was primarily built for flood control and is one of the largest reservoirs in the Southeastern United States. Recreation replaced manufacturing and Clarksville was forced to re-invent itself.
Capital Campaign Goals
The arts are essential to the fabric of every community. As noted by Randy I. Cohen, VP of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts, the top five reasons to support the arts are: arts promote true prosperity, strengthen the economy, are good for merchants, improve academic performance, and drive tourism. The Clarksville Players and the Fine Arts Center Capital Campaign Committee have embraced these concepts as they raise the $2,000,000 needed to renovate and revitalize the aging Center.
When The Clarksville Players began in 1973, the members were grateful for a place to perform. They have worked hard over the years to keep the building functioning and available to the public for a variety of purposes. But, today the building is in need of essential repairs and renovations. This campaign will include modern, accessible bathrooms, technical upgrades to lighting and sound, along with improvements to the lobby and backstage facilities.
Full financial participation of the board
Board contributions on track to reach 10%
Support of the Clarksville Town Council
Support included in Proposed Clarksville Comprehensive Plan
Benchmark Community Bank
Veterans Enterprise Technology Solutions
Morgan Lumber Co.
mpiTOO is providing grant writing support for this effort.