After an extensive multi-million dollar renovation project, Grass Valley’s Center for the Arts was prepared to reopen with a series of concerts and events designed to wow the community with the newly remodeled venue. Day by day their plans have drastically changed as they respond to the evolving health crisis.
The first events hosted at The Center included a small private event for the local contractors association and a fine art exhibit opening for local artist Nancy Mintz. On Wednesday and Thursday, small groups gathered in the expanded Granucci Gallery, mingled in The Kerby Lobby and enjoyed local pours at Rick’s Bar and Cafe. This all happened just as Governor Newsom was recommending that events larger than 250 people be cancelled or rescheduled.
Friday night’s Tinsley Ellis show had sold just under 150 tickets, so they went ahead with the first scheduled concert, inviting members and music fans to enjoy the new Meyer Sound system in the newly remodeled auditorium. At just under 30% capacity for the now 492 seat theater, they were also able to offer the recommended spacing between parties.
When Governor Newsom reinforced his guidance on large events, and artists began to experience multiple show cancellations on their current tour routes, it was clear that shows were going to need to be put on hold. The Center for the Arts is currently working with over a dozen artists to reschedule all shows originally scheduled for March, April, and May. Patrons and ticket holders are being contacted via email and phone with more information regarding the postponed shows.
This is a very challenging time for artists and presenting organizations that rely on income derived from ticket and merchandise sales at public events. The Center is urging fans to support their favorite artists in any way that they can including purchasing albums and merchandise online.
The Center also needs community support as it enters Q2 with only a few shows remaining on the calendar for June. Ticket sales provide 70% of their operating expenses. They are beginning a series of layoffs, just when they were expecting to host over a dozen shows with crowds eager to experience the new space.
Executive Director, Amber Jo Manuel remains confident, “We are resilient. Over the past year we overcame financial challenges, scheduling nightmares, and delay after delay after delay. But we did it – we came out on top, and we are proud that we have created a stunning cultural treasure for this community to enjoy for years to come. This too will pass. It will be hard, it will be difficult, but The Center will overcome this challenge.” You can help The Center for the Arts by way of online donations, memberships and gift certificate purchases for future shows at The Center.
The official ribbon cutting ceremony and opening celebrations have also been put on hold. The team at Center for the Arts is made up of dedicated and passionate employees, volunteers, community advisors, and board members. The team, along with local contractors and crews are proud of their work. Together they have built a state-of-the-art facility, a premier performing arts destination, and a cultural resource for Northern California. Executive Director Amber Jo Manuel said it best, “We will get a chance to celebrate what we have achieved with all of the community. And when we do it will be awesome!”
The Center for the Arts is a nonprofit organization that typically presents around 150 events per year. To learn more, to donate, to become a member, or to purchase tickets please visit their website at thecenterforthearts.org or call 530-274-8384.