Carpenter Center Closes For Remodeling

The Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond, Va., is closing to undergo a $25 million renovation, thanks to a recent $1.13 million gift from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that the gift fulfilled a $2 million pledge from the Philadelphia-based foundation, which included forgiving a $375,000 loan from 1988.

The Virginia Performing Arts Foundation, which received $500,000 as part of the pledge in 2002, is leading an effort to build a larger performing arts complex downtown with the Carpenter Center as its nucleus, according to the paper.

The theatre – which currently seats 2,000 – is a state and national landmark. Renovations will include a new, larger stage house and other expansions and modernizations, the paper said.

The Times-Dispatch quoted executive director Joel Katz as saying the renovation would take approximately two years. In the meantime, the neighboring Landmark Theater will pick up the center’s regular events.

Highlights of the venue’s 2004 season included Dave Chappelle, John Prine and a five-night run for “STOMP.”