The Arts Council Performing Arts Complex
Built in 1904, the Arts Council Performing Arts Complex was originally home to The First Methodist Church of Gainesville. The structure was one of the few downtown buildings surviving the infamous 1936 tornado. In the 1980s, the church became the home of the Westminster Presbyterian Church and school. When Westminster moved its parish and school to a larger facility, the fate of the historic building was unclear. As a measure to continue the advancement of the arts in Northeast Georgia, the buildings were gifted by Lessie and Charles Smithgall to The Arts Council, Inc. in 2004.
The Arts Council Performing Arts Complex is comprised of three properties:
The Arts Council Performing Arts Auditorium, formerly the church santuary, is used for The Arts Council Singer-Songwriter Series™, Arts Council concerts, performances, puppet shows, childrens art programming, and other arts events.
The Arts Council Educational Building, formerly the school building, is used for arts education programs, art exhibits and other events. In addition, the facility is available to rent for meeting space or long-term studio and office space.
The Arts Council Cottage, formerly the church parsonage, is a quaint site for Arts Council Membership events and other arts programming. Our Cottage is also available for rent for small weddings, receptions, arts exhibits, and meetings on a limited basis.
All three structures have undergone critical structural renovations. While the Arts Council Performing Arts Complex is structurally sound and functionable, the vision of The Arts Council is to give these properties the same level of detailed restoration that was done for the Smithgall Arts Center. With the help of individuals and corporate sponsors, that vision will one day become reality.
Click this link to see an article about this facililty: "Gainesville's old Methodist church is a jewel in brick and glass," May 6, 2008, The Gainesville Times, by Ashley Bates.
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