A few short years ago, the former Louisa School on Fredericksburg Avenue was an eyesore. But thanks to the support of local governments and businesses, the building is now home to a fine hub of cultural activity, the Louisa Arts Center.
The Louisa Downtown Development Corporation was formed six years ago to make that dream a reality, and for the past three years, the arts center has hosted some of the area’s most diverse and enjoyable music, art, dance and theater programming.
The Purcell Gallery, located near the entrance to the Arts Center, has produced dozens of exhibits from artists both local and from around the state. The exhibits rotate between open calls for artwork on a specific theme to shows by specific artists. It has also proven to be a stylish and popular location for events and receptions.
The 212-seat Cooke-Haley Theatre auditorium is complete with a professional sound and lighting system and hosts more than a dozen special events annually. Acts such Thomas Pandolfi, Plunky and Oneness and ACME Swing Mfg. Co. have graced the stage, and audiences continue to grow.
In addition to presenting an array of acts never before seen in Louisa, The Arts Center has also opened its doors to locals in new ways in recent years. Louisa County Parks and Recreation produced its Louisa Idol contest on the Cooke-Haley Theater stage and long-time Louisa County High School drama teacher Peggy Sadler offered a theater camp for kids ages six through 18. Louisa Christian Church has used the theater to perform plays and screen its film production of “The Nativity: When the World Changed.”
For more information, visit www.louisaarts.org.