46 North Ludlow Street, Dayton, Ohio 45402
Photos by Andy Snow.
VTA is thrilled to announce the addition of a new facility to our campus. The PNC Arts Annex at the corner of Second and Ludlow Streets, across from the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, is the latest addition to downtown Dayton’s Arts District.
“That corner has been open for quite a while – for some 15 years, ever since Elder Beerman vacated that block and the Courthouse Crossings building was created,” said Daniel J. McCabe, Co-Chair, Downtown Dayton Partnership. “Anyone who is interested in the success of our city core – and Dayton as a region – has to be pleased with this development. It shows such commitment and investment in downtown – not surprising from Victoria Theatre Association, which is the largest property owner in downtown outside of the city, county, and federal buildings.”
The 12,000-square-foot space will be transformed into a fresh and flexible home for creative, new arts experiences for all ages.
“Building creative capacity in our region is the number one organizational priority in VTA’s strategic plan and support from organizations such as PNC is critical to achieving Victoria Theatre Association’s mission,” said Ken Neufeld, VTA President & CEO. “VTA believes that fostering more creative opportunity in our community – specifically for our young people – is important in today’s world. The PNC Arts Annex will provide members of our community of every age the opportunity to experience, explore and express their personal creativity, however that is defined.”
“Victoria Theatre Association is one of the great cultural resources for our city,” said David Melin, PNC regional president for Dayton. “At PNC, we recognize that access to quality arts experiences enriches lives and builds stronger and more vibrant communities, which ultimately helps drive business and economic development.”
“The arts activities VTA creates are at capacity because thousands of our community members utilize them throughout the year,” explained Gary Minyard, VTA Vice President – Education & Engagement. “The PNC Arts Annex gives our current Education & Engagement programs room to grow, but more importantly, we will now have room to expand into new and exciting avenues that VTA has yet to explore.”
There is a need for an intimate, state-of-the-art, flexible performance space in downtown that has a multitude of configurations, is patrons and professional companies the highest quality experience possible. Current space in the Metropolitan Arts Center is being used for rehearsals and workshops aligned with the Morris Furniture Co. Family Series and the Discovery Series, where proximity to the Victoria is important. However, those spaces are far from ideal given access challenges, lack of visibility, and other difficulties. Room at the Schuster Center’s Mathile Theatre is at a premium for events and meetings, and is becoming less available for classes and workshops, especially during Broadway weeks, opera rehearsals, or gala events.
“The PNC Arts Annex provides just what is needed for the Dayton arts community to continue to grow and reach new audiences that crave a different experience that is more hands-on, more participatory,” continued Minyard.
The PNC Arts Annex concept has been fully vetted by the VTA Board of Trustees. The building will be leased by VTA with a fundraising initiative to support programming and operations. The city of Dayton and other downtown entities are firmly behind the project.
“The support has been tremendous,” Neufeld said. “People understand the need and the concept immediately.”
Construction is underway!