A new era in the arts

Published 8:31 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2014

This week, the Turnage Theater is set to open its doors to the public for the first time in over two years. For so many, this is a cause to celebrate.

There are the many people who got in on the ground floor, back in 1996, when the theater was one big pigeon roost — the ones who had a dream to restore the early 20th century theater to its former glory. There are the ones that raised funds and those that contributed to the theater’s renovation. There are those who worked behind the scenes and those who paid to see talented performances: music, theater, movies.

Unfortunately, that iteration of the theater did not last. And for two years, the theater sat empty, the pigeons waiting to reclaim their roost.

No longer. On Thursday night, the spotlight will be on the Turnage stage once again for a free performance. On Friday night, the Turnage gallery will be lit with two of Washington’s most celebrated artists, whose work is widely known.

The public is invited. That bears repeating: the public is invited.

The Turnage is no longer open to ticket holders only. Of course, under the new Beaufort County Arts Council ownership there will be ticketed events, but interspersed with paid events will be the free ones. Mixed in with the talented performances from afar will be the community events — local talent, local performers.

It did, indeed, take a village to put the Turnage back on our Main Street’s map: business, government, non-profit, so many volunteers building on work already done.

All that’s lacking now is the audience to usher in this new era in the arts.

The public is invited.