Community Impact at the Forefront of Arts Center Fundraiser

From performing arts to visual arts, the Sharonville Cultural Arts Center has hosted community-based events in its historic building for almost ten years. Now, the epicenter of fine arts in Sharonville is asking for the community’s help.

The Sharonville Fine Arts Council, created in 2003, envisioned a place for theater, film, photography, painting and sculpture all under one roof. The old Act I Cinema at Reading and Creek was donated to the council by the city in a dilapidated state, and the construction process began to bring the historic building back to life under a new purpose.

The arts council is no stranger to putting out a plea with the community for donations, as donations were need for the 2008 construction project completion and grand opening of the Sharonville Cultural Arts Center.

Holding three distinct venues under one roof, the arts center is home to Westheimer Art Gallery, celebrating local artists; the Loft area for various catered events and classes; and a 130 seat Theatre that offers children’s performances and movie nights as well as space for independent filmmakers and theater troupes to showcase their work.

The theater has also provided a home for performances by Performing Arts Inc., offering dance, music and theater opportunities for children in the Greater Cincinnati area, and award-winning Stagecrafters Inc., now in its 66th continuous season.

On a busy show weekend, the arts center boasts over 1000 audience members, sitting in theater seats that are over 50 years old. Having recently received donations for a state of the art projection and sound system, the Sharonville Cultural Arts Center now seeks to bring its theater to life with new lighting equipment and new seating to accommodate the crowds.

“The challenge is that all those kids and families deserve seats and lights and sound that works,” fundraiser organizer Michelle Taylor says on YouCaring, a free online fundraising platform that is run by Compassionate Crowdfunding. “Thanks to generous donations and gifts we have a state of the art projection and surround sound system. Now we need the seats and lighting. The S.O.S. Campaign has been started to help us Save Our Seats and give our audiences a Broadway experience in their own backyard!”

Since the seats in the theater started breaking, the arts center has made moves to fix them. However, the parts for these seats simply aren’t available, forcing a full replacement of all 130 theater seats, which will cost around $35,000. Each time a seat breaks, a folding chair is put in its place until enough money is raised for new seating.

As of April 23rd, just over $1,200 out of the desired $35,000 has been donated through the fundraiser. The Sharonville Cultural Arts Center is asking the community to help them in continuing to serve the theater community in Cincinnati by donating to the cause. For more information on the Sharonville Cultural Arts Center and the fundraiser, please click here.
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Erin Pierce is a contributing writer for Soapbox, and a recent graduate of Northern Kentucky University.