Tryon Fine Arts Center celebrates 40 years of fostering arts

Published 3:16 pm Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The 1980s and 1990s were times of program expansion and facility improvements which included the following accomplishments:

Programs targeting youth were developed such as the Summer Art Series for Youth and Super Saturday. The &dquo;Discovery House&dquo; was dedicated to helping young people discover their talents;

Sassoon Park was created by Stella Sassoon in memory of her husband, William Edward Sassoon; and

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The Cate-Hall Weaving Cottage was dedicated to Lucy Cate and Grace Hall in recognition of their work to promote weaving in the area.

For almost 40 years now, the much-loved, quirky building on Melrose Avenue has served a special role in our community by providing us a place where fine art and fine experiences can be enjoyed on a daily basis. &bsp;

In 2005, the Tryon Fine Arts Center brought a diverse series of programs to the auditorium, created partnerships with local dance, theater and music groups to offer performing arts classes, and sought out local public and private schools to create a strong educational outreach for the Center. Through these efforts, Tryon Fine Arts Center had more audience members and gallery visitors in the first four months of 2006 than in all of 2005. The growth has continued with the first formal Main Stage Season that began in September 2006 and continues through today. This will continue to bring the best in theater, dance and music to the Center stage for the entire community.

In 2007, the Tryon Fine Arts Center presented 34 total programs that served 8,464 people including:

&ull; 9 Educational Programs that served 1,125 people

&ull;11 Main Stage Series Programs that served 2,685 people

&ull; 14 Children&39;s Series programs that served 4,654 students

In addition to the above, the Center&squo;s affiliates ‐ the Tryon Little Theater, Tryon Concert Association, Tryon Painters and Sculptors and Foothills Music Club ‐ held 20 programs and events at the Tryon Fine Arts Center that served 5,262 people, not including classes.

Tryon Fine Arts Center is currently the only performing arts center in Polk County, and serves 10,000 people annually. The mission of Tryon Fine Arts Center is to provide the highest quality performing and visual arts experiences for the community.

Tryon Fine Arts Center Executive Director Chris Farrell says she&squo;s working on a big lineup of events this year. She says TFAC is planning to schedule slightly fewer events in the upcoming season to attract some bigger performers to the venue. The fine arts center&bsp; also plans to offer discounted tickets to members of organizations affiliated with TFAC.

The center&squo;s schedule of events continues this week with&bsp; the 50th anniversary of Buddy Holly&squo;s death with this tribute to the music and the man who revolutionized rock n&squo; roll music. The Tryon Fine Arts Center is presenting Rave On! A Buddy Holly Tribute February 5 at 7:30pm.

TFAC is a nonprofit organization operating to foster the arts in Polk County and the surrounding areas. They operate a 335-seat multipurpose auditorium presenting a variety of cultural events. Affiliated with TFAC are six autonomous groups, each with its own board of directors, officers and membership.

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