Washington-area performing arts centers bring culture to the suburbs

Posted on: January 12, 2011

In Friday’s (1/7) Washington Post, Anne Midgette writes, “It’s 7:30 on a November night in Manassas, and the ticket line is snaking around the foyer of the brand-new Hylton Performing Arts Center and nearly to the door. The box office isn’t accustomed to the rush. … The Hylton is Northern Virginia’s latest contribution to a veritable boom of performing arts centers around the country. If the 1970s saw an increase in performing arts organizations, the 1990s and 2000s have seen a notable increase in places built to house them. The boom is reflected nowhere better than in the Washington area, which—economic crises be cursed—has seen at least nine arts centers open since 2000. … Here’s what’s striking about these new performing arts centers: They aren’t in the city. … Not everyone wants to drive into the city for art. And the rhetoric about the arts being an essential adornment to make communities attractive to prospective residents, propagated by city fathers during fundraising for these projects, has sunk in: Communities outside urban centers want a piece of the action.” Symphony magazine recently examined the changing roles of performing arts centers on both a local and national scale; click here to read “Impact Statements” in SymphonyOnline.

Posted January 12, 2011