Virginia Performing Arts Foundation DBA CenterStage Foundation

Rating: 4.67 stars   15 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: 600 E. Grace Street Suite 400 Richmond VA 23219 USA

Mission: Richmond CenterStage is a catalyst for a creative andvibrant arts scene throughout the Richmond region. Through our four arts venuesand education center, we want to promote an inspiring environment where performingarts will flourish and strengthen the Virginia capital region’s cultural,social and economic vitality. We support the relationships among visual, performingand cultural arts and create transformational educational opportunities forK-12 students through collaboration between regional arts groups, educationalsystems and the community.  We are serious about the arts. And we are seriouslyfun. 
Programs: Withour endowment, we want to ensure that Richmond is a vibrant, lively city;broaden our arts programs; assure more years of outstanding artistry andinnovative new programming; and build non-traditional audiences and bring indiverse acts. The CenterStage Foundation works closely with communitypartners including the City of Richmond, Venture Richmond, and the Alliance forthe Performing Arts to ensure that our plan dovetails with the broader-scalevision for the City. For instance, program funding has been put towards FirstFridays, a community celebration held near the first of every month that bringscitizens from around the community to downtown. Program dollars have also rented out performance spaces, allowing thosein the community to see a show for free. Our carefully-crafted plan reflectsthe needs of this community and the community's ability and desire to supportits performing arts. It involves and benefits not only the major performingarts organizations, but also the small, community-based, and alternativeperforming arts organizations that are flourishing in our region. TheFoundation is focused on fundraising, education, master planning and buildingthe endowment for future generations to come.

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

As a child growing up in Richmond, we looked forward to going downtown to attend concerts, river activities and shopping. Having CenterStage open again to attend ballet, symphony and theatre performances with my teenage daughter has been so enjoyable. I know these memories will stay with her forever, as it has for me. I appreciate the volunteers and community leaders that made this happen for the Richmond community.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My daughter was a student at the School of the Richmond Ballet and was selected to participate in the Children's Chorus of the Richmond Symphony's production of "Carmina Burana" when CenterStage opened.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase efforts to allow all children of the school participate.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

I love Richmond's newest venue. It is absolutely beautiful and a much needed addition to Richmond. There is plenty of parking within easy walking distance. There are different sized theaters for music, dance and theatre performances. I love the fact that the Richmond Symphony has its Lollipops series here. The tickets for those performances are so reasonably priced. I hope to see the venue develop its arts education programs in the future, it would be wonderful to see full-day summer camps for kids that utilize the venue.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have attended performances at this venue and have loved the experience.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More arts education programs during the year and summer arts camps.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

The arrival of CenterStage in Richmond has been transformational to the cultural life of this region and to downtown Richmond. I have enjoyed performances by the symphony, ballet, and Alvin Ailey Dance in the beautiful and historic Carpenter Theatre. The employees and volunteers are both professional and welcoming. I know that we can expect even more diverse offerings in the future, as well as tremendous educational opportunities for young people throughout the region. Thank you to CenterStage for making such a difference in my life!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

expanding cultural and educational opportunities in Richmond.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand and diversify the offerings in the future.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

CenterStage encompases not only three beautiful venues for thee performing arts it has space for visual art exhibits. The educational part of CenterStage offers teachers and students K-12 performing arts experience through lesson plans developed to enhance the Virginia standards of learning through digital streaming to the classroom. It is a classroom experience that has been dropped from most curriculum through budget cuts.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching performances in all three venues, seeing our diversified programming reach those who would not normally participate in the performing arts and by watching our educational program enlighten children to the wonder of the arts.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

like to see more money become available to enlarge our ability to reach those from all parts of our community at a price affordable to all.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

My husband, Rick and I are both supporters of Center Stage. My husband works for Dominion Power downtown at the Tredegar location and owns a condo in the Miller and Rhoades building overlooking the Carpenter Center. We enjoy walking right across the street to attend some of the magnificent performances that Center Stage has provided to Richmond. Our two favorites of the 2010 season was the living legend, Tony Bennett and the incredible talents the multi Grammy Award winning jazz musician - Arturo Sandoval.
signed - Carolyn Anderson

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

expanding the cultural attractions in Richmond

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The only change I would even hope to do to improve this organization is the hope that more benefactors/company's in Richmond would realize the importance of music and arts to the city and the populace.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

As soon as CenterStage opened its doors, my life in Richmond changed for the best! I grew up in Paris and was constantly seeking more cultural experiences in this city. Since CenterStage opened, I have attended nearly all of the Richmond Symphony performances, many ballets, theatre productions, and just Monday night I saw the "Bale folklorico de Bahia."
CenterStage's programming is outstanding, bringing life to Richmond by providing us with opportunities to see world-class performances right here in our backyard.
As a student, it has been great to take friends to see some of these shows. The student ticket prices are so affordable and I truly appreciate the fact that they offer these for us - these cultural excursions are far more exciting than any house party!
I am an avid advocate for the arts and am thrilled to be a part of a community that appreciates and welcomes a variety of performing arts right here at CenterStage.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

It has been amazing to see how this organization has changed the face of the Richmond performing arts scene: the Richmond Symphony, the Richmond Ballet, and Richmond Shakespeare now all have a permanent home where they can showcase their work. I love seeing all the variety of attendees dressed up to come see these shows, filling the nearby streets as they walk to the theatre.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

It would be great if CenterStage created a program such as a professional development/young professionals group that allowed young people in Richmond to come together, support the arts, and perhaps have special VIP events to some of the performances.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

We in Richmond are so fortunate to have a facility like CenterStage. The variety of high-quality performance venues, the beautiful blending of new and old (thanks for leaving the Thalhimer brick walls outside the Gottwald!), the professionalism of the staff, and, thankfully, LADIES' RESTROOMS THAT ARE LARGE ENOUGH!!! Thank you for making such a great facility available to us.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have helped with performances at Richmond Shakespeare and attended the dress rehearsal for the opening.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have a reduced parking rate for actors, musicians, backstage people.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

...what a wonderful collection of venue offerings and amenities. ...a top quality operation here in Richmond!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Attended functions and productions at the facilities.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find a way for the organization to reach a larger audience.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

The Gottwald Theater at Richmond Center Stage is an exciting venue for intimate theater productions. The staff is professional and the space is beautiful. "A Winter's Tale" by Shakespeare was most enjoyable in this space. I look forward to attending many more productions.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the past year as an audience member.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not have an opinion in this area presently.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I was there for the grand opening of Center Stage on 9/12/2009 and many, many times since then. I have taken my elementary and middle school sons there for numerous performances, thankful that I can expose them to such top-rate cultural events. I am a regular patron of the ballet, symphony and opera, and the pre-symphony and pre-opera lectures in Rhythm Hall are great. Center Stage offers the opportunity for educational outreach, such as a business/cultural/educational event I attended there just yesterday about Brazil. Center Stage is vital to the cultural/educational outreach and enrichment of not only our city, but our Commonwealth.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Per my comments above, I am a patron of events at this venue. It is a feather in the cap of our city. We are able to attract outstanding, world renown performers as a result of Center Stage. Events are also easily accessible to people of all socio-economic standing.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I don't know that it's possible to improve on such a great facility. With the redesign, the main thing that was such an improvement were the ladies' facilities.

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Review from Guidestar