As Geva opens its 47th season, the organization looks outside of its four walls to focus on education and community engagement, and become a leader in the area for connecting theater to its constituents.
Current programming completely occupies all space in Geva’s 150-year old building. Renovations completed in 2016 included adding a hospitality suite. Those rooms now host events for Geva and can be rented to outside organizations.
Geva is partnering with PathStone Corp. to create a space for an arts initiative that celebrates and serves the community through art-based programming. The 5,900 square foot space, located on the ground floor of the proposed PathStone building at 150 Monroe Ave., will be home to theater and creativity classes and workshops.
“This facility is a long-held dream of ours to provide more opportunities for participation in theater activities for Rochester area residents,” said Mark Cuddy, artistic director. “Our home at Woodbury and Clinton is filled with performance programming, and doesn’t have the studio spaces for year-round classes. Our expanding engagement efforts will now also have terrific meeting and learning facilities.”
Centered close to the expansion of the Strong National Museum of Play, this space will allow Geva to expand its education and engagement programs that serve 20,000 annually, offering opportunities to partner with the Rochester City School District.
“We are thrilled to have an opportunity to create this new space for our community,” said Christopher Mannelli, executive director. “This will be a place where folks from all over the region can gather, share and celebrate the arts in all its forms.”
The building is projected to finish in September 2022, before the start of Geva’s 50th anniversary season.
“Creating a space for our community requires that we listen and collaborate with our constituents to create a unique model of service,” said Pirronne Yousefzadeh, director of engagement and associate artistic director. “I am certain that as the process continues, and we deepen and expand the dialogue with our community, this new center will be a transformative step forward for all of us.”