5/13/2019…by Jared Adamson I love being challenged to perspectives I’d never considered before. Or as the Scarecrow said, “think of things I’d never thunk before.” And it… Read more “ENTERTAINED BY THE OFFENSIVE”
The DIVA has been busy! And so many of you have joined us on our journey. For that, we are so grateful, and we appreciate your enthusiasm for our future plans. Here’s an update on where we’ve been and where we’re headed.
Our interim stage (complete with a ramp to make it accessible to everyone) is being used once a month for regular first Friday performances of the Department of Improv (tickets available), our locally-sourced improv troupe trained up thanks to a generous grant from the Wayne County Foundation.
Even with a modest ticket price, the income from this internal production is giving us the opportunity to make some pretty exciting plans for the future. We have already been able to install a wire wall hanging system for visual artists to exhibit their work. We have immediate plans to acquire the appropriate venue licensing for music performance. And with a little extra funding from our friends, we are close to the point of being able to purchase expandable systems for lighting and sound.
All of these acquisitions are making it possible for more and more of you to unleash your inner DIVA. We’re getting there bit by bit, and with each piece we hope to make the process of creating art for art’s sake more accessible to you in this unique community space.
What’s the next big step? A total remodel of the whole thing. On the third floor of our building, there’s a large open ballroom space that’s just perfect for DIVA. Built in 1878, the building needs a lot of help to make it 21st-century friendly. Thanks to your support and encouragement, we’ve been able to start the planning process. Check out this very early initial concept drawing and ideas for part of this project.
Included in these plans are:
- A visual art exhibit hall and intimate performance space;
- A recording studio;
- A community conference and meeting room;
- A large, open, accessible performance hall with fully configurable and versatile seating, staging, lighting, and sound; and
- A rooftop deck.
This is all for YOU. While we will continue to produce our own internal offerings, the main focus is DIVA as a community builder and barrier remover. You can use it to produce a play you’ve always wanted to be in, perform a series of your own musical compositions, or exhibit a series of original watercolors. You can use it for your arts group to hold business meetings. You can use it to organize an open-mic night or a poetry slam. You can use it to perform your original one-woman monologue or assemble a group of musician friends to perform a single piece for an audience of one … or an audience of many.
You can use it to unleash your inner DIVA. Whatever it is that means to you.
To get there, we still have a lot of work to do, but we’re loving every minute of it. And we’ve just been overwhelmed by your words of excitement and encouragement, your laughter and camaraderie at improv shows, and your very generous financial support.
As you continue to consider your year-end charitable giving, please keep DIVA in mind. We will need to find funding from a wide variety of sources to make all of the DIVA’s dreams come true. But overall, your support comes in many forms, and we appreciate every bit of it. Stay tuned!
by Andy Dudas Improv, you say? To which we respond with a resounding, “YES and…!” DIVA has founded “the Department of Improv” and is in the process of… Read more “Yes and…”
by Matthew Socey Now that we are in the midst of graduation season, I want to start with a semi-unrelated note and highly recommend the 1985 comedy… Read more “Art Doesn’t Change. We change.”
-by Jared Adamson I like to do community theatre. No, we’re not the best shows around. Our quality isn’t the highest, usually. Our talent is often present,… Read more “AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT”
by Matthew Socey The Academy Awards are this Sunday. There are only two award shows I watch with any interest, this and the Tonys. The Tonys, to… Read more “The award will hopefully go to…”
-by Andy Dudas It’s been a little over a week since we(myself and DIVA board secretary/treasurer and life partner Amy Dudas) wrapped production on ‘Souvenir: A Fantasia… Read more “…and that’s how it’s done”
-by Andy Dudas DIVA board members Amy and Andy Dudas are directing fellow board member Jared Adamson and his co-star Alisa Clapp-Itnyre in a Visionary Production at Richmond… Read more “One woman, one man, and a piano”
-by Andy Dudas Amy and I are directing a show on the Visionary Productions stage at Richmond Civic Theatre. We began our rehearsal cycle a week ago,… Read more “Everyone’s a Critic”
By: Amy Noe Dudas Featured Image Credit: Leap of Faith, by Ron Deane At the moment, DIVA exists in concept only. We have a board and a building.… Read more “What Will DIVA Be?”