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Colonial Arts Center Receives WV Governor’s Arts Award

BUCKHANNON, WV: The Colonial Arts Center (CAC) received the 2024 West Virginia Governor’s Arts Award for Emerging Arts Organization of the Year at a ceremony held in the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex, on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024.  The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture, and History (WVDACH) sponsors the Governor’s Arts Awards ceremony, a biennial awards program that celebrates the importance of the arts to economic development in the Mountain State by honoring individuals and organizations whose creative achievements and significant contributions to the arts enhance life in West Virginia.

Noted as part of the ceremony program were the following comments:

Long before the Colonia Arts Center (CAC) celebrated its ribbon cutting and grand opening on October 21, 2023, it offered programming to increase arts opportunities and arts exposure in Upshur County.  CAC’s art gallery has hosted several West Virginia artists,

The CAC’s Main Hall theatre space has hosted several of the Buckhannon Community Theatre’s productions, and the new Balcony Theatre recently hosted its inaugural event, an improv comedy night with The Fearless Fools Acting Troupe.

Through a sponsorship from WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital, the basement level of the CAC has been transformed into a creative suite filled with studios and classrooms for students to explore creativity in both private lessons and group camps.

The CAC has hosted many other groups, including the WV Dance Company, the Rusty Mechanicals, (the) Shakespeare Troupe, and the new Buckhannon Upshur Middle School Theatre Club.  All those involved at CAC continue to strive to fulfill its mission: provide a community arts hub to offer creative and educational opportunities through diverse programming.

Most recently the CAC hosted two sold-out events, which were the Jazz & Java event presented by the West Virginia Wesleyan College Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and a viewing of O Pioneer – Documentary Film.

Currently, the MIB Gallery is hosting “laying in the darks” by Kylie Proudfoot-Payne.  An art exhibit that combines traditional paintings with NFC technology, which viewers can scan with their phones to further explore the landscape. The artist reception will take place this Friday, March 1st from 4 – 8 pm with an artist talk at 5 pm and will also include ballet dancers and the unveiling of a new community-based painting. The exhibition will be up until March 23rd and the gallery is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 4 – 8 pm or by appointment.

On hand to accept the award were Randy Sanders, Buckhannon City Recorder and CAC Board Member, Alisa Lively, CAC Board Member, and Matoula Hartley, Interim Manager of the CAC.

(Photo L to R: Alisa Lively, Randy Sanders, and Matoula Hartley.)