Proposed Mason Arts Center would include new theaters, art displays

Members of the Mason City Council and the Mason Arts Council pose with a just-passed city resolution backing the creation of an arts center for the Warren County city. Officials with the arts council say the proposed center will not require local tax funding and may include a 1,000-seat theatre among its many planned features. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)
Members of the Mason City Council and the Mason Arts Council pose with a just-passed city resolution backing the creation of an arts center for the Warren County city. Officials with the arts council say the proposed center will not require local tax funding and may include a 1,000-seat theatre among its many planned features. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

The leadership of Mason is onboard for the creation of an arts facility that may include a 1,000-seat theatre and other building showcase venues to enhance the city’s quality of life, supporters say.

The Mason City Council recently approved a resolution supporting the center proposed by the Mason Arts Council.

The non-profit arts council, which was founded last year, hopes to gather further cooperation and partnerships with no local tax funding to bring the center into existence.

“We are so excited our resolution was accepted by the city of Mason and we look forward to calling Mason the home for the Regional Center for the Arts,” stated Thomas Huff, the president of the Mason Arts Council, following the Dec. 14 vote by the city council.

“This facility would be a focal point of the city – a destination to bring more business to local restaurants and shops and stimulate additional downtown development,” said Thomas Huff, president of the Mason Arts Council. “A place to showcase the many cultures within our community. A place for children to learn, masters to shine, and audiences to be wowed.”

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Arts council officials told the Journal-News no location for the proposed center has been chosen and details need to be set. They estimate a two-year projected timeline after an agreement is developed.

The center would be constructed in two phases, starting with the Center for the Performing Arts. There would be a 1,000-seat theater and 400-seat theater at a separate entrance, including all updated amenities.

A Center for the Visual Arts would be part of the second phase of construction. Outdoor sculptures and a recreation area would lead into an area including paintings and photo displays, officials said. There would be room for traveling exhibitions, studios for dance, ballet and other arts and TV and radio studios, among other facilities for visual arts.

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