Mayor Mark Alarcon announced today that the City of Stockbridge together with the Downtown Development Authority has recruited the state’s longest running professional theatre to the City as part of its economic development and quality of life initiatives.
During a reception Thursday afternoon at City Hall, Mayor Alarcon and DDA Chairman J.T. Williams informed more than 50 supporters of the arts that the Academy Theatre would be relocating to Stockbridge as part of an initial three-year public-private partnership.
“The City Council and Downtown Development Authority understand the connection between the arts industry and economic development,” Mayor Alarcon said. “Besides providing jobs, the arts generate business revenue and the Academy Theatre will play an important role in the economic revitalization of our downtown community.”
Under the agreement, the Academy Theatre will provide cultural and leisure services for the City, including main-stage theatrical work, a Theatre for Youth Artists-in-Schools program, an Academy Senior Theatre Program, classes for youth and adults, an Improv Festival, a Short Play Festival, and New Play Readings.
“The Community Arts Center will become a significant force in the cultural life of Stockbridge and beyond through performances, classes, activities for youth, seniors, and the community at large,” said Lorenne Fey, managing director for the Academy Theatre.
DDA Chairman J.T. Williams expressed his enthusiasm to have the Academy Theatre in Stockbridge and was quick to recognize his fellow Board members along with Mayor Alarcon and the City Council for their teamwork in brokering the public-private partnership.
“Stockbridge is building a legacy of providing its citizens with a quality of life unsurpassed in the Atlanta area,” Williams said. “The addition of the Academy Theatre to our downtown will greatly enhance the quality of life for our community with the addition of education, entertainment, and cultural opportunities. We are sure to see even more restaurants and vitality in our community as the Academy Theatre draws residents and visitors alike into our downtown.”
The Theatre will relocate to Stockbridge as renovations to the former First State Bank Operations Center that the City purchased in December nears completion. The 22,000 square foot Community Arts Center will include a 250-plus seat Proscenium Theater, 99-seat Black Box Theater, two community spaces, digital computer lab, special events space, dance studio, art gallery, and a small cafe. The Theatre expects to produce its first theatre series in October in Stockbridge.