NEW PERFORMING ARTS VENUE TO OPEN IN TAZEWELL COUNTY
Venue Will Be Constructed In Newly Renovated Theater Building
A new entertainment venue is coming to Tazewell County. Cultural Arts of Southwest Virginia will add approximately 1700 square ft. to the old theater building in North Tazewell to create a Performing Arts venue. The additional square footage will consist of a stage, greenroom, 2 dressing rooms including showers and restrooms, kitchenette, backstage prop area, and a loading dock. The addition will include a mezzanine in order to increase seating capacity. The Tobacco Commission is supporting this project with a $225,000 Southwest Economic Development Program grant.
Tobacco Commission member, Senator Ben Chafin said, “This project will add so much to the community here in Tazewell and our region as a whole. Supporting the arts is a good thing to do in and of itself but when you can also support a project like this that will increase tourism revenue thats a big win. I’m pleased to see this project get off the ground and I look forward to enjoying a production myself once it’s completed.”
Tobacco Commission Member, Delegate Will Morefield added, “The Tobacco Commission has a long history of supporting successful tourism projects that bring visitors from near and far to Southwest Virginia. Tourism is an important part of our economy here so anything we can do to encourage people to visit and extend their stay will benefit the region for years to come. This project will do just that so I am proud that the Commission supported it and wish Tazewell and Cultural Arts of Southwest Virginia the best as they get renovations underway.”
The Town of Tazewell has never had a venue for staged performing arts productions. A partnership with the Barter Theater has already been established to bring live action stage shows to the venue and Barter Theater’s commitment will be a valuable contribution to the entertainment that can be provided at the facility. The Cultural Arts of Southwest Virginia Facility will enrich the quality of life of citizens in the region and add much needed indoor activities for citizens and visitors alike. With the growth in regional and county tourism, largely stemming from investments in outdoor recreation activities such as ATV, motorcycle, hiking and biking trails, as well as opportunities for camping and water activities, there is a need for a diverse portfolio of activities to both draw tourists to the region and increase the length of their stays.
Cultural Arts of Southwest Virginia owner, Sharon Thomas said, “Cultural Arts of Southwest Virginia deeply appreciates the support of the Tobacco Commission in awarding this grant. The grant funds will provide the foundation for a performing arts venue for the community that will enhance the lives of both residents and tourist.”
Tazewell County Administrator, Eric Young added, “I am excited to see this theatre moving forward. As a young man I spent many a Tuesday, Dollar Night watching Rocky, Star Wars, and ET here. Not only is this theater a sentimental part of our past, it is a significant piece of our future. As tourism grows in our county we must provide tourists reasons to extend their stay. This theatre will provide entertainment options to get folks to stay the night, have dinner here, and shop. It is a critical part of our efforts to use the back of the dragon to build our economy. Of course, it is great for us because we also get to enjoy the amenities tourism supports. We would like to thank Delegate Will Morefield and Senator Ben Chafin for their help on this project.”
Tourism is an important part of the economy in Southern and Southwest Virginia. Through our Southwest and Southside Economic Development and Special Projects programs the Commission has invested in enhancements to regional tourism infrastructure that demonstrate ability to attract visitors, and the revenue they bring, from outside the Tobacco Region. The Commission has funded more than 25 projects that have expanded the ability of the regions we serve to attract tourists. Commission funded projects have successfully drawn large numbers of tourists to the Tobacco Region and will continue to do so for many years to come.
“Tazewell is again recognized due to the ambition and hard work of Sharon Thomas who is a visionary and local entrepreneur who we are fortunate to call Tazewell as her home.” Said Tazewell Town Manager, Todd Day. “The Town of Tazewell’s people are resilient and full of grit to prove that our desire for existence and self-sustainability is very much still alive. We all look forward to what the future holds thanks to the Tobacco Commission and their continued support.”
Tazewell County Board of Supervisors member, Mike Hymes said, “When our board commissioned the Cardinal study to determine issues we needed work on to improve our economic development opportunities one of the weaknesses we found was in amenities such as the services Ms. Thomas plans to provide with the renovation of the former theater. It is important that we support our resident’s efforts and I applaud the Tobacco Commission’s decision to support this effort.”
The Tobacco Commission is committed to developing a diverse economy in Southern and Southwest Virginia. Building a strong tourism economy by supporting worthwhile projects likes this one is an important part of accomplishing that goal and the Commission looks forward to continuing to support projects that will bring jobs and investment to the areas we serve.
Contact: Jordan Butler
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE