By Lisa Dumas-
Golden, a local poet, actor, community activist and educator, has opened the 60-seat multidisciplinary performing arts venue to provide arts education, entertainment, job-training in the arts, and community outreach in the northeast area of the city.
City Council President Loretta C. Scott; Council Vice President Adam McFadden; Allen Williams, director of the city’s Special Projects and Educational Initiatives; Neighborhood and Business Development Commissioner Bayé Muhammad; and Councilmembers Elaine Spaull, Jacklyn Ortiz, Michael Patterson and Mitch Gruber attended the occasion.
“I am so excited to bring the Avenue Black Box Theatre – theatre for everyone – to a neighborhood that has not been served by the arts for far too long,” Golden said. “We know that exposure to arts education and experience in the arts raises academic achievement, community pride, and economic vitality in any community that embraces the arts, so I have no doubt that this theater will be a force for positive change in this neighborhood. I am so grateful to the many community partners and sponsors who have shared our vision from the beginning and given so generously to help us bring the blessing of the arts to people of Joseph Ave., and northeast Rochester.”
The theatre will also pave the way for more performing arts programs under development for the area, the city said, as well as provide extracurricular arts-education programming for neighborhood children.
“It gives me great pleasure to see the Avenue Black Box Theatre open on Joseph Avenue, to bring live theater and a rich selection of arts programs to northeast Rochester,” Mayor Lovely Warren stated. “I want to thank Reenah Golden, and all of her supporters for making this tremendous investment in our neighborhoods.”
Founding partners of the project include the Joseph Avenue Arts and Cultural Alliance; the Rochester Latino Theatre Company; and the Avenue Children’s Theatre Project.