Stage set for expansion project at Grass Valley Center for the Arts | TheUnion.com

Stage set for expansion project at Grass Valley Center for the Arts

Amber Jo Manuel this month was named executive director of the Center for the Arts. According to a news release, the organization reviewed more than 30 applications for the position before selecting Manuel, who had served since September as the Center's acting executive director. Prior to that role, Manuel served as the director of development for the organization.

Grass Valley this week approved an expansion and remodel project proposed by the Center for the Arts that will increase the size of the performing arts venue's facility by more than 10 percent.

Amber Jo Manuel, who was named the Center's executive director this month after serving as interim director, said the project is slated for construction in June and is expected to take about six months.

During that time, the Center will continue to host performances at off-site locations, including the Grass Valley Veterans Hall and the Elks Lodge.

World Fest, a four-day music festival hosted annually by the Center, is scheduled this year for July 12 through 15 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

"Everyone here is super excited about the (expansion) project and ready to move forward," Manuel said. "It's an exciting time for the Center."

According to Manuel, the venue will be able to host more events on-site after its facility renovation. The Center currently rents out alternative venues in order to provide room for large audiences at its high-profile shows.

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The venue plans to build a two-story, 2,400-square-foot addition to its 20,000 square foot facility. The project, when completed, will increase the maximum capacity of the Center's main theatre from about 380 guests — including both seated and standing patrons — to around 750, according to Manuel. She noted the Center will soon launch a capital campaign to help fund the construction costs, which are estimated at about $3.6 million.

The project will also include repairs and renovations at the facility. According to Manuel, the Center plans to fix its roof, replace seats in its theatre, and improve accessibility for people with disabilities.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Pera, email mpera@theunion.com or call 530-477-4231.

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