Arts Council of the Valley suspending operations at Court Square Theater into 2021

Court Square TheaterThe Arts Council of the Valley noted in an email to supporters on Wednesday that it has made the decision to suspend operations at Court Square Theater for at least a year.

The move comes on the heels of the City of Harrisonburg pulling its annual allocation for Court Square Theater operations out of its fiscal year 2021 budget.

The loss of that funding, in combination with the complex health-related and economic challenges of operating an entertainment venue under the uncertain circumstances imposed by the COVID-19 crisis, led to the ACV board’s decision.

“Court Square Theater has played a significant role in the vibrancy of downtown Harrisonburg for more than 20 years,” ACV Board President Jennifer Whitmore said. “We recognize that this decision to close for the time being will be difficult for the many patrons who have attended films, concerts, and live theater productions in that historic space.”

ACV has formed a task force to consider how the organization can best support and encourage a vibrant future for the performing arts, ACV Executive Director Jenny Burden said.

“The Arts Council of the Valley is committed to supporting the performing arts,” Burden said, “and we will be evaluating how to best provide live entertainment for our community, going forward.”

The Court Square Theater building is owned and managed by the Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority, which will continue to maintain the theater portion of the facility during the closure.

ACV’s other programming areas – Advancing the Arts Grants, Any Given Child Shenandoah Valley, First Fridays Downtown, and Smith House Galleries – are not impacted by the Court Square Theater decision.

As updates on the theater’s status become available, they will be posted at valleyarts.org.


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