Photo courtesy of Arena Players.
From Arena Players’ Facebook page:
Every now and then … we ALL get it just right! If you haven’t done so already, Please take a moment to say CONGRATULATIONS to Arena Players Incorporated!
Four million dollars in congressional funds will be invested in Baltimore’s Arena Players, Inc., the oldest continually operating African American community theater in the United States! Thank you to Congressman Kweisi Mfume, Senator Ben Cardin, and Senator Chris Van Hollen for their efforts in sustaining this jewel in the heart of Maryland’s 7th Congressional District.
The money will go directly towards redeveloping the volunteer organization’s three-story playhouse, with upgrades to include renovations of the main performance space, a complete re-envisioning of the auxiliary spaces on the second and third floors of the building, revitalization of the exterior, and improvements to ensure ADA accessibility and compliance.
We owe a debt of gratitude to Catherine Orange, Donald Owens, David Mitchell, former state senator & board chair Larry Young, and the scores of other volunteers who keep Arena Players alive.
For 70 years, the stories of the community have been told through the Arena Playhouse. It was founded in 1953 by a group of visionary citizens, actors, and activists: Jimmie Bell, Bernard Byrd, Doris Dilver, Aurthur Thurogood, Irvin Turner, Joe Wilson, Julius Wilson, and Sam Wilson. The organization has an admired history of giving to the community through exceptional dramatic achievement.”
Comprehensive renovations are slated for Spring 2024. Architectural firm K. Dixon Architecture will oversee the project. The theater is located at 801 McCollough Street in Baltimore City.
About Arena Players
Baltimore’s Arena Players Inc. is the oldest continuously operating African-American community theater in the United States. From its humble beginnings in 1953, by a small aspiring group of ambitious fledgling actors, Arena Players has a proud history of community service and outstanding dramatic achievements.
Our mission is to entertain, educate, and serve the Baltimore community. We nurture and give growth to new, emerging, and established artists through cross-cultural endeavors, while boldly illuminating the African-American experience through the performing arts.