HART expansion will serve us well

Jul 23, 2013

Haywood Arts Regional Theatre launched a $1 million Stage II project just one year ago and now has enough money to begin construction.

The great progress in raising $600,000 is thanks to generous donations from patrons and community members. HART Executive Director Steve Lloyd and the board agreed that the project would only move forward once $600,000 was in the bank and they have lived up to that promise. A ground-breaking ceremony will be held in September and construction will begin in March 2014.

The new theater will be built right behind the existing theater on Pigeon Street and will offer 150 seats and a café/bistro. HART already has an enormous economic and cultural impact on our county and a second theater will hopefully increase revenues and create more resources for the arts community.

The new theater will be able to be reconfigured to suit different needs and the full kitchen will allow troupes to do dinner theater, cabarets and even special events.

An economic impact study conducted by TripAdvisor and HART revealed that half of those attending HART performances are visitors to the community, resulting in a $2.4 million annual impact on the area economy. That study showed that HART is Haywood County’s No. 1 attraction.

A second stage will allow HART to do more shows, which will bring in more visitors to our beautiful county. We applaud all the efforts being made to expand this important attraction and encourage everyone in the community to support the theater by donating what they can. While construction can start soon, HART still needs $400,000 to complete the new theater.

To make a contribution to the project, send donations or pledges to HART Stage II, P.O. Box 1024, Waynesville, NC, 28786.