Bringing the arts to Chester one brick at a time

The stage is set and the call is official – it’s time for the Chesterfield Performing Arts Center to become a reality.

November is “Cultural Arts Awareness Month” in Chesterfield County, so it’s only fitting that the kickoff for the performing arts center should take place in November. The official kickoff took place Tuesday, November 19, 2013 in the meeting room of the Chester Library. In a small, intimate ceremony to kickoff the capital campaign to garner the funds necessary to make the performing arts center a reality, festivities included performers dancing and singing, along with speakers.

“Now is the time for us to make this happen,” Chesterfield Center for the Arts Foundation President Betty Matthews said in kicking off the festivities. The foundation is working to raise the $2 million needed to begin construction of the center that will draw its patrons from all of Chesterfield County and surrounding areas.

The Chesterfield Center for the Performing Arts will be a state-of-the-art 18,000 square-foot facility. The proposed center can seat 350 people and will include a lobby that can also function as an art gallery and multi-purpose room. It would add gathering places to the Chester area with uses such as rehearsals, sculptures, music, art, workshops and literary arts.

The celebration  “Bringing the Arts to Chesterfield County” brought out county leaders and patrons for an evening of dance performances by Stavna Ballet students, musical pieces by Thomas Dale High School students and a musical  Broadway selection given by Robyn O’Neill with Tony Williams.

Bricks for the building are available for purchase. Single bricks can be included in the building for a donation. Bricks are valued at $27. Brick donors can also choose a plan based on giving – Gold status for $1,000 (by the main door east), Silver status for $500 (by the west door and parking area) and Bronze status for $200 (patio area) donation. Individual/family bricks are $200 for gold, $100 for silver, and $50 for bronze. Bricks can be purchased in honor of family members or friends.

Several Chesterfield County officials and patrons spoke about the importance of the project. Several pledges were made. Michael Mabe, Director of the Chesterfield County Public Library gave closing remarks.

The performing arts part of the project began in the late 80s. This second phase, separate from the building of the library and obtaining the land, specifies $6.9 million for the center, with a community challenge to raise $2 million by August 2014. Community fundraising has begun and the smallest donations from each citizen can make this vital center a reality. To give donations, send checks to CCAF, P.O. Box 3296, Chester, VA 23831. The foundation has several long-term pledge plans available. Find out more about these at or email


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