The Ausherman Family Foundation is giving a catalyzing grant to New Spire Arts, a performing arts education and presentation center for Frederick County, and has brought on award-winning stage and film director Elizabeth Lucas to serve as Producing Artistic Director.
Marvin E. Ausherman, chairman of the Ausherman Family Foundation, states, “I believe in the transformative power the arts have on the lives of individuals and communities and hope our newest initiative will support cultural development, civic discourse and a strong creative economy. Ms. Lucas is a passionate advocate for a forward-thinking and expansive vision of the performing arts.”
Elizabeth Lucas is an award-winning stage and film director hailing from NYC, where she made three feature films and was a Founding Producer of the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Lucas says, “We hope to nurture a creative ecosystem, where we provide innovative performing arts education, state-of-the-art space to create, and a world-class venue to present both homegrown and international talent. My goal is to remove barriers to arts participation and inspire creative engagement from all facets of the Frederick community.”
New Spire Arts is expected to launch progressively, with initial programing as early as summer 2017. They will be operating out of two downtown Frederick venues. New Spire Stages, at 15 W Patrick, will be an arts performance and information focal point for the community, with a theatre, a music and media lounge and family-friendly gathering spaces. New Spire Spaces, at 115 E Church, will be an education and creation hub, with flexible suites designed to serve current and future forms of performing arts including theatre, film, music, dance and multimedia. The buildings are the city’s former Cultural Arts Center and the former Department of Education building.
Mr. Ausherman said of the two properties, “In partnership with the excellent work being done by the Weinberg Center for the Arts, Maryland Ensemble Theatre and the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, we hope New Spires Arts will provide the infrastructure to make Frederick a renowned destination for performing artists.”
Lucas is hopeful that the capital investment by the Ausherman Family Foundation will open doors to community involvement and new funding streams. New Spire Arts will embark on a capital campaign to equip the venues and sustain programing and operations.
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