For good. For ever.®
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More about the Arcadia Project

Our NAME:

Arcadia is the historical name of one of our buildings and was a Greek mythological landscape for creativity. 

Project because we are constantly evolving and the work to create, build community, and foster understanding never ends

Our GOALS:

  • Transform two historic buildings and while honoring their pasts, broaden their uses as gathering places for ALL members of the community.
  • Care for our structures and sustain our cultural offerings for years to come with YOUR help 
  • Create opportunities for collaboration among a variety of audiences and creators and grow the next generation of thinkers and change makers.

Our BACKGROUND & EVOLUTION:

The Staunton Performing Arts Center (SPAC) championed the redevelopment of the Dixie Theatre for nearly 20 years. While the support did not develop to bring their vision to fruition, they remain committed to seeing the Dixie serve as an important cultural and economic resources for our community. The Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge led a transition to a new organization, a new board, new leadership, and a new vision.

We began with a community survey that identified underserved communities and unmet cultural needs. Education and entertainment in the areas of film, food, technology and music will lead our offerings. The Arcadia Project is renovating to bring the buildings into the modern age while maintaining their historic character and current floor plans. The old movie theater will remain split into four auditoriums (the two on the ground floor to be renovated first). The Arcadia Building will remain a two-story building with the second floor kept as an open loft space, and the first floor divided for classrooms, gallery, and other uses.

In the past two years we’ve received grants from the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge; we’ve applied for the Maker Cities Grant Program powered by the Etsy and Mastercard; we intend to apply for the Industrialization Revitalization Fund administered by the VA Dept of Housing and Community Development; we are applying for other government and foundation grants that are appropriate to the project.

We plan to open the doors in three phases:

  • Phase 1-Following renovations to the lobby area and its restrooms, we will operate a gourmet popcorn business and host small-scale events appropriate for the lobby’s space. 
  • Phase 2-The lower theaters of the former Dixie will be renovated as performance spaces for spoken word, live music, social dancing, film festivals, and other cultural offerings identified in our survey.
  • Phase 3– We will also restore the Arcadia building for use as a wedding venue, and for educational & studio spaces.