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Clarksville Fine Art Center renovation drive picks up energy

SoVaNow.com / November 07, 2012
Three years ago, when she was 9 years old, Emily Randall presented the Clarksville Fine Arts Center Preservation team with a mason jar full of money. The amount she collected from her “girls’ club” was $13.62. Since then, with multiple fundraisers and occasional gifts, the Preservation fund has grown, but no donation has been given more willingly and received more gratefully.

In 2008, architectural plans were drawn and discussions began on how to make the preservation and renovation of the old school/theater a reality. However, at that time three other very worthy Clarksville organizations were campaigning for building funds. With the competing campaigns and the growing recession, it became clear that the timing was not right to ask area citizens to support yet another project. Rather than have a drive for donations, the Preservation team began to hold fundraisers — Longaberger Bingo party, acting lessons, yard sales, Drama in the Kitchen, raffles, movies, concession sales, and just recently, Oktoberfest at Cowboy Up in Virgilina.

With money in the bank to begin a proper campaign and construction costs going up every year, the Preservation team is for the first time asking citizens of the area for help. Phase I of the capital campaign, “Sittin’ Pretty,” is underway with money being donated to provide refurbished seats for the entire theatre. The cast iron base of the seats, manufactured years ago, is superior to present-day frames and will be retained, but the fabric is worn, and springs are poking through. The refurbished seats will have new cushions and the wooden arms will be refinished. The goal for Phase I, which will also include needed lighting upgrades, is set for $125,000.

If you ever went to school in the Fine Arts Center, or your parents did, or you’ve been to a play there, or if you’ve been in one, or if you’ve had a child participate in the Children’s Theatre Workshop, or you’ve attended recitals or concerts, then you know why the Center is important to the people of Clarksville and surrounding areas and worthy of your support.

Emily’s collection, as well as every dollar donated, is appreciated. Please check out the ad on page A7 in today’s paper. Notice that while any amount helps achieve the campaign’s goal, for a gift of $500 you can designate a name plaque you’d like to see attached to one of those new seats.

These friends and neighbors have already donated: Buck and Scottie Moore; Ann W. Dembroski; Mike and Barbara Cowley; Lucy and Larry Gunther; Judith D. Tillman; Larry and Chris Garrison; Grandfather’s Country Creations; Mary Burke and Alex Thompson; O. R. Beamon; Joey Tucker; Ed and Eileen Harris; Jean S. Crowe; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Reamy; William and Frances Eason; Susan and Savannah McKee; Dr. Jeff and Kim Hively; Ed and Nancy Barden; Joseph and Sheryl Pelella; Richard and Linda Pulliam; Perry and Priscilla Gilbert; Mrs. Margaret B. White; Dixie Gee; Clarksville Marina; Lee and Nancy Lipscomb; Mr. and Mrs. Guthrie Goodman; Billy and Judy Wells; Ginnie Murray; Edna Neese; S. Joe and Brenda Fariss; Winnie S. Blanks; Patricia Weary; Ed and Win Baker; Mary Fran Lewis; Larry and Irene Chapman; Rich and Carol Henderson; Reggie and Jenny Young; Eric and Stephanie Gordon; Teresa Banyas; George and Margaret Timberlake; Jim and Karen Allen; Jerry and Jan Ruppe; Mr. and Mrs. James Lessing; Tal and Carol Corbett; Dr. Bart Cleary, Judy and Julian Williams and several “Anonymous.” Please help “Sittin’ Pretty” reach $125,000.

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