The funds are part of the county’s annual appropriations to organizations and nonprofits, and the check was presented in anticipation of the New Year’s Eve opening celebration of the Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center.
The county’s contribution comes at a critical time in the efforts of Uptown! Entertainment Alliance to raise the last $1 million needed to complete the performing arts venue. In total, $3.9 million was identified to purchase, re-purpose, and preserve the West Chester National Guard Armory building, converting it into a nonprofit theater for film, live performance, and workshops that will serve the greater West Chester community.
One of the Chester County Commissioners’ strategic priorities is to optimize the quality of life in the community, and particularly to invest in the county’s urban centers.
“Our goal of bringing a theater to West Chester was to create a cultural hub within walking distance to West Chester’s revitalized restaurant and shopping district,” said Angela Scully, Executive Director of Uptown! Entertainment Alliance. “We envision people who live and work downtown walking over for a film or concert, young people enjoying music in a theater setting, students taking performing arts classes, and seniors from nearby retirement communities enjoying matinee performances.
“We are excited that this goal will be achieved with the opening of the performing arts center in the new year, and the commissioners’ contribution reinforces the importance – and need – for a venue such as this.”