BUCKHANNON — At an Upshur County Board of Education (BOE) meeting Tuesday, City of Buckhannon Mayor Robbie Skinner announced a partnership between Upshur County Schools and ART26201, regarding the ongoing renovation project taking place at the old Colonial Theater on Main Street.
“We are very excited to have a partnership with Upshur County Schools and ART26201 for our Colonial Theater, where we are very near completion in our downtown project,” said Mayor Skinner. The Buckhannon City Council took on the renovation roughly four years ago in hopes of creating a space that would “enrich the arts in the community, as well as provide space for educational opportunities for our youth,” Skinner explained. He described this partnership as a “capstone” for the project.
Bryson VanNostrand, representing ART26201, stated that the idea to renovate the former movie theater was born around seven years ago, hoping to take a dilapidated building and turn it back into a vibrant center for the arts. “Since that time, we’ve all been writing grants and working hard to get this building renovated, and we are just a few months away from final paint and finishes.”
VanNostrand further commented that the renovation portion of the project has been the easy part, but that finding people able to run it and envision the programs and creativity it could bring to the community will be “the next big hurdle to overcome.” He added that for the Upshur BOE, City of Buckhannon and Buckhannon Community Theater to partner with ART26201 to provide arts programming for the city’s youth is “a dream come true that we’ve been dying for for a long time.”
ART26201 is a nonprofit organization that aims to celebrate and promote creative and inspirational opportunities in the community of Buckhannon, WV. Learn more about them at art26201.com or on their Facebook page.