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With new leadership, a new era for The Prizery

South Boston News
Pat Anderson-Flowers, left, Prizery managing director, with Blair Toner, president of the CACF. / March 24, 2014
The Community Arts Center Foundation, Inc. (CACF), owner and operator of The Prizery, begins a new era today.

Pat Anderson-Flowers is now the managing director for the local arts and entertainment venue that first opened in September 2005. The new director assumes overall responsibility for the only full-time, dedicated arts, education, and entertainment facility in southern Virginia.

Anderson-Flowers moved to South Boston from Birmingham, Ala., last week, having most recently served as assistant vice president for Institutional Advancement at Birmingham-Southern College. In her 27-year career in theater and education, she served as professor of Theater Arts for 15 years, and nine years as artistic director of the Birmingham Children’s Theater. She hold a B.A., Speech/Theater from Middle Tennessee State University and a M.F.A. in Theater from the University of Mississippi.

She assumes management of The Prizery from the interim management team consisting of Martin A. Beekman and Wayne E. Stanfield, who have managed the facility as volunteers for nearly two years. Beekman is retired from the University of Virginia and Stanfield is a retired business owner and former air traffic controller.

Anderson-Flowers joins the current CACF staff consisting of four full-time employees and one part-time employee. Chris Jones continues in his role as artistic director for The Prizery. Ernelle Bellamy serves as technical director and facility manager, Theresa Coleman as administrative assistant and office manager, and Betty Woods as the custodial manager. Lamar Bowman fills the part-time position of technical assistant.

The Prizery, considered as a leading asset to Halifax County and South Boston, is already planning for the 10th anniversary celebration in 2015, including numerous events culminating with a gala anniversary event in the fall of next year.

With the addition of Coleman last year, and Anderson-Flowers this year, The CACF now has a strong, full-time team to assure the success and growth of The Prizery. Promoting arts education, high quality entertainment, and in partnership with local organizations, the CACF is a vital piece in the quality of life in Halifax County.

In addition to hosting one of the only Pre-K arts education programs in Virginia, The Prizery is becoming known throughout the Southeast for an exceptional Summer Theater program. Driven by the talent and vision of Jones, the local auditions for the 2014 summer program of Hairspray and Les Miserables drew more than 100 talented young people from colleges and universities across five states.

The Prizery and the Parsons Bruce Art Association are hosting visual arts exhibitions in Cage Gallery almost every month. These shows bring art works from local and regional artists with sales benefiting the non-profit CACF. Additionally, The Prizery offers music, art, and pottery classes on site.

As with all community arts organizations, the CACF relies on the generosity of contributors to help fund the ongoing operations at The Prizery. Tax deductible contributions support numerous funds such at the Music Fund, Comedy-Drama Fund, and the Bodies In Motion Fund to underwrite the high quality professional shows and entertainers brought to the Chastain Theater stage, such as the Richmond Symphony, Mountain Heart, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.

The Prizery has sold more than $1 million in tickets since opening in 2005, and rents various spaces in the building every week year-round. The CACF is grateful for the support from local and state government grants, grants from private sources, and the financial support of local businesses and individuals.

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I wish her the best in her new role, but I hope she's prepared to deal with the Prizery-haters.

Ignore them and keep bringing top-flight entertainment to our little backwater! smile Some of us choose not to remain stuck in 1972...

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