History

history

Spruce Peak Arts Center Foundation

The Vision

In the early years of the 21st century a group of visionary leaders identified the need of a performing arts center for improving the quality of life in the historic alpine village of Stowe, Vermont.  Through nearly a decade of feasibility studies and concept processes they maintained that commitment and found a group of like-minded individuals and businesses that shared their community spirit and were willing to finance the dream – a focal point and gathering place for the whole community.  With funding from the Founders Council, ground was broken in 2008.  Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center opened December 27, 2010, with a week of popular artists including Broadway star Ben Vereen, and the incomparable musical artist James Taylor in an education fund benefit concert.

Although the visionary founders built and opened the arts center as a gift to the community, the not-for-profit 501-c-3 organization Spruce Peak Arts Center Foundation relies on contributions and sponsorships from people like you to fund its programming, operations, and future vision.

The Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center

The Building

Architecturally, the performing arts center is clad in red cedar shingles, with a cedar frieze, columns and fascias, pine soffit, dark framed windows, and large sheltering roofs that help it both blend and stand out from its environment, at the foot of Mount Mansfield, the highest peak in Vermont.  The interiors of the lobby and 420-seat auditorium are finished in warm Douglas Fir panels and Vermont green slate.  A custom chandelier, by local blacksmith and artist Richard Spreda, punctuates the tall, truss- roofed lobby.  The performance space is a simple barn-like rectangle with a heavy timber, truss roof, low slope floor, and intimate connection between the audience and the stage.  Planned with an adjustable proscenium which can open as wide as the auditorium, the flexible space supports extending the seating onto the stage, using the box seating areas as side stages, and the opportunity for reception and banquet functions both on and off stage.  Acoustics, audio, and projection systems are state-of-the-art, and the tension wire grid and catwalks make staging simple and flexible.

The Events

Since that grand opening celebration, the community has benefitted from performances and residencies by exceptional artists including Dance Theatre of Harlem, violin virtuoso Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, the Perlman Music Program, Great Big Sea, Taj Mahal, Josh Panda and the Hot Damned, Belle Pines, jazz singer Audrey Bernstein, Scrag Mountain Music, Grand Derangement, Outerbridge Clockwork Mysteries, and the Aquila Theatre of New York production of Cyrano de Bergerac.