Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center Celebrates Ribbon-Cutting On New Scenic Design And Technology Works
Midland-based Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center, in conjunction with the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce, cut the ribbon Friday, Sept. 7 for its new Scenic Design and Technology Works, located in the Aliquippa Industrial Park.
"We've been working for almost two years on the development of this new facility, which will greatly enhance Lincoln Park's ability to not only design and construct sets, scenery, and props for our own productions, but to also warehouse and rent these assets to performing arts organizations nationally," said Justin Fortunato, Lincoln Park's producing artistic director.
"We are also in a position now to be able to help other performing arts organizations affordably develop world-class theatrical scenery, as well as to engage with other producing organizations in co-productions. These types of partnerships and collaborations are the lifeblood of nonprofit and educational theater," he said.
Fortunato pointed to recent collaborations with Jeter Backyard Theater in Gibsonia, and the Clay Theater in Charleston, West Virginia. Lincoln Park also regularly partners with groups such as Pittsburgh Musical Theater, the Pittsburgh CLO, as well as college and university theater programs.
Previously located in a building in Monaca owned by the Beaver County Corporation for Economic Development, Lincoln Park was forced to move its operation last year when the building was sold.
"We really had to scramble to find both the amount and the quality of space that will serve our needs both now and in the future," said Lincoln Park managing director, Stephen Catanzarite.
"Not only does this new facility offer clean, modern space for both the design and construction of world-class theatrical sets and stagecraft technology, it also provides us with the room we need to grow the rental side of our operations, which is a key element in our organizational mission. It's also strategically located to both serve our needs as well as those of partnering organizations and clients."
Catanzarite said Lincoln Park's Scenic Design and Technology Works supports about 15 highly skilled, full-time jobs, as well as another 15-20 part-time jobs during the height of the production season.
"Some of the jobs we've created have gone to alumni of the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School, as well as other young people from our region. We take great pride in being able to offer these opportunities, and to help keep this talent local. We are very proud of our production team."
Both Catanzarite and Fortunato credit the expertise of local developer Chuck Betters with supporting the creation of the new facility, and with making it possible for Lincoln Park to continue its scenic design and construction work during a critical period of transition.
"The Betters organization has been just incredible to work with," Catanzarite said. "They do what they say they are going to do, and they bring a world-class vision to everything they do."
"We haven't missed a beat or been late for a curtain during the development of this new space and our move from our previous location, and that's due in no small part to the efforts of Chuck and his entire team," said Fortunato.
"Lincoln Park is a true center of excellence and economic force in our region. As an arts and education venue they attract hundreds of students and thousands of visitors into Beaver County on a yearly basis. As an economic engine, they're a vital part of our revitalization efforts. This perfectly located Scenic Design and Technology Works is another great example of their diverse economic impact. We couldn't be more excited about this building and what it represents to our area," said Jack Manning, Beaver County Chamber of Commerce president and executive director.
The ribbon cutting ceremony also featured a preview performance from the upcoming production of the hit Broadway musical "Sweeney Todd," which opens Lincoln Park's 2018-2019 Highmark Subscription Series on October 5, along with tours of the new facility.
The region's premier arts-and-education destination, Lincoln Park is located in a beautiful park setting in Midland, Pennsylvania. The Center is home to the renowned Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School, and creates real-world learning and mentoring opportunities for young people by offering high-quality, professionally produced musicals, plays, concerts, ballets, readings, and exhibits for patrons of all ages. For more information, visit www.LincolnParkArts.org.