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$15,000 grant to help theater reopen OK’d in Hendersonville
Friday, 01 January 2021 14:09

From Staff Reports

HENDERSONVILLE — Hendersonville City Council on Dec. 3 voted 3-2 to authorize a $15,000 grant to aid the Center for Arts and Entertainment downtown in its quest to make the theater safe for a return to live performances.

The dissenting votes were cast by Jennifer Hensley and Jeff Miller, while those voting in favor were Mayor Barbara Volk and council members Lyndsey Simpson and Jerry Smith.

The theater needs $30,000 worth of improvements “to assist in making the downtown theater safer for events,” Jeanie Linder, the theater’s managing artistic director, told council.

Those include “virus-killing” HVAC filters, staff masks, face shields, sanitizing crews, temperature-scanning kiosks and plexiglass in the lobby. 

Besides the city’s grant, the Community Foundation of Henderson County has agreed to give $15,000 for the safeguards. 

In exchange for its donation, the city could be listed as a partner and receive special benefits for the 2021 season including ticket discounts and priority seating.

“We did support Flat Rock Playhouse when they chose to move downtown,” Mayor Barbara Volk said, according to the Hendersonville Lightning.

“I like the idea of having a performance venue downtown. It’s one additional amenity that people can enjoy downtown.”

The center currently plans to resume live performances in February, although it is not clear that state guidelines would permit gatherings that large at that time.

“I think the biggest thing you need to understand about this proposal is that it is a way to not only bring people downtown,” Linder told the council, the Lightning noted. “Under the 50 percent (of capacity) rule, we’re able to deliver 127 people every time we open our doors.”





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