BUCKHANNON — City officials, art enthusiasts and distinguished dignitaries to the Colonial Arts Center met in City Hall chambers on Wednesday, June 8 for the ceremonial execution of the center’s memorandum of understanding. Buckhannon Mayor Robbie Skinner, St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Lisa Wharton, City Reporter Randy Sanders, David McCauley, Art 26201’s Bryson VanNostrand, West Virginia Wesleyan College President Dr. James Moore, Keith Buchanan, and Colonial Arts Center’s Board President/Chair John Waltz developed an across-the-board, comprehensive document that memorializes and shows the collaboration of the community’s organizations to make this project happen.
The Colonial Arts Center located on East Main Street in Buckhannon is moving closer to becoming a completed project. Mayor Skinner acknowledged quite a few key contributors, such as former Mayor David McCauley, who in the beginning, acquired the property in getting the blessing for the City of Buckhannon to own the property in which the Colonial Arts Center will be.
Mayor Skinner expressed, “We cannot thank St. Joseph’s Hospital and the foundation enough for their very, very generous gift to the project, which Bryson VanNostrand has been instrumental with working with St. Joseph’s.”
West Virginia Wesleyan College (WVWC) has been working to provide a significant educational piece to all the students who will be going through the center. Aside from being a performance space, it is an educational piece for our community. City officials also gave a warm welcome to the Colonial Arts Center’s very first employee, Ann Wilson, a West Virginia Wesleyan College graduate majoring in theater. Wilson was chosen as the first employee because during her college journey, she wrote papers and completed projects and proposals on the center before it was ever even a concept in the City’s mind. She has been part of this project from day one and is very involved in its development.
Dr. James Moore, President of the Colonial Arts Center, described how thrilled WVWC is to be part of the project as well. “The arts have always been important to the college. The commitment to Creative and Performing Arts are the reason I was brought here to join the faculty. I couldn’t be more excited that one of our alums is the first employee of the center – we are very proud of her. We are proud to be part of this community.”
The City of Buckhannon is now being expanded back to what it once was. The utilization of the space for the Colonial Arts Center was almost lost and Mayor Skinner expressed how joyous it is that we will not be losing this space. The educational opportunities are expanding as well throughout our community and we are very fortunate for this.