FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 21, 2020
Contact: Ann Leatherwood 540.801.8779 Ann@valleyarts.org
Arts Council of the Valley to Suspend Court Square Theater Operations
HARRISONBURG, VA – The Arts Council of the Valley (ACV) Board of Directors has decided to suspend operations of its Court Square Theater for at least one year, beginning July 1, 2020. The theater has been closed since mid-March in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
ACV was notified in mid-April that the City of Harrisonburg’s proposed FY21 budget did not include the annual allocation for Court Square Theater operations. The loss of that significant 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 Board’s decision.
“Court Square Theater has played a significant role in the vibrancy of downtown Harrisonburg for more than 20 years,” acknowledged ACV Board President Jennifer Whitmore. “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 noted. “The Arts Council of the Valley is committed to supporting the performing arts,” she added, “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.