By Nancy Kennedy Chronicle Reporter Apr 30, 2022
Special to the Chronicle
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“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” – Thomas Merton
Plays and concerts, are a place for artists to meet other artists to learn from and gain inspiration and education and hone their skills.
As the cultural center of the county, a campus consisting of two buildings, a modern 200-seat theater, and a 6,500-square-foot Art and Education building, the Art Center offers a variety of visual arts, photography, youth programs, and live theater shows.
The mission of the Art Center of Citrus County is to encourage and promote participation, appreciation, and education of the arts in the community.
“The Art Center strives to provide many forms of artistic expression that bring entertainment and education to everyone in our community,” said Dianna Haynes.
When did the Art Center start?
The Art Center was founded by a handful of artists in 1964; incorporation came in 1973. In 1984 a single, small building was constructed at the current site and has grown to the current two-building campus.
What is the annual budget and how is it funded?
The annual operating budget is $160,000. The Art Center is supported by ticket sales, contributions, and membership dues.
Who’s in charge?
The Art Center is an all-volunteer organization, governed by a volunteer board that serves without compensation, a part-time executive director.
How many volunteers does the Art Center have? Are more needed, and if so, how can people volunteer?
The Art Center has roughly 250-500 volunteers throughout the year involved with the visual arts and theatrical productions.
There are many volunteer opportunities, from box office to acting, scenery, tech booth, the front-of-the-house manager and ushering, to helping with the artistic side of the organization, and social events.
Volunteer time can be anything from a steady three hours a week to just a couple of times a year.
Currently, volunteers are needed for the box office; also needed: a concession stand coordinator and helpers.
For information about volunteering, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 352-746-7606.
How has the pandemic affected the Art Center?
Two productions in the 2019/20 season and the whole 2020/21 season had to be canceled. As a result, it hurt the volunteer pool and attendance is 60 percent of what it was pre-pandemic.
What keeps members and volunteers motivated?
“People have been supportive of our organization and they are happy that our doors are open,” Haynes said. “Little by little more people are showing up to volunteer and go to the shows, and the happy smiles keep us going.”
How can the community help the Art Center help others?
“Spread the word about the Art Center,” Haynes said. “If you see us on social media, please share and like our events. Everybody you see on stage, behind the scenes, and in the art programs are all volunteers and can use the community’s support.”
INFO: Art Center of Citrus County is at 2644 N. Annapolis Ave., Hernando.
Buy Tickets artcentertheatre.com
Chronicle reporter Nancy Kennedy can be reached at 352-564-2927 or by email at email@example.com