Stuart’s Kicks Off the Next Stage Campaign

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May 18 will mark an important milestone for the historical Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville. That afternoon, starting at 4 p.m., the organization will host a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off the construction of the Next Stage Campaign, which comes after years of careful planning, organizing and a devastating fire.

Ultimately, the Next Stage Capital Campaign will create The Stuart’s Opera House Education and Production Center at 30 Public Square in Nelsonville, as well as triple the size of the organization’s lobby and reception area. Gutknecht Construction has been chosen as the general contractor for the project.

The lobby expansion and improvements initiative will add to the general comfort of patrons and allow for the hosting of special events such as weddings and receptions. The Stuart’s Opera House Education and Community Center will utilize the previously unused space in the adjacent building for new educational programming as well as for backstage, storage, and rehearsal facilities. Also planned over a longer term is the establishment of an operating endowment that will help provide financial support to the organization for generations to come.

Stuart’s Opera House is the cornerstone of the public square in Nelsonville, Ohio and has been a part of that Southeast Ohio town since the boom times of coal mining in the 19th century. After years of growth since re-opening in 1997, Stuart’s is recognized as the premier performing arts center in Southeast Ohio. Currently, Stuart’s hosts over 75 events a year including live music, theater, visual art, educational programming, film, dance and more. In addition to events at the Opera House, Stuart’s also presents the annual Nelsonville Music Festival, on June 2-5, 2016. This year NMF celebrates its 12th year with music from Randy Newman, Gillian Welch, Gary Clark Jr, Courtney Barnett, and over 60 more acts.