Positive Change in Marysville
Marysville, Washington is a community that has struggled to find a clear identity. What started as a lumber and farming community 30 miles north of Seattle, Washington has since given way to loosely connected pockets of commercial and residential neighborhoods. The town is host to a handful of small arts groups, but these groups have lacked a sense of community between them, and lacked a home in Marysville.
The Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts is a (501 c3) non-profit organization founded in 2009. The organization’s focus is on arts education and production, and produces a monthly country concert, has presented twelve plays, and offers classes in the arts for all ages. In addition, we have created partnerships with Pacific West Performing Arts in Snohomish, Trinity Lutheran College in Everett, and the Marysville Arts Coalition, among other groups. Our mission is to bring arts and art-based educational opportunities to under-served communities, and to help invigorate tourism, creativity, and community pride.
Though founded in Marysville, RCF has operated primarily out of the Historic Everett Theatre, but the goal was always to find a location in the Marysville area. In the summer of 2013, we were shown the former Dunn Lumber property at 1410 Grove Street. The 8,000 sq ft building sits on 1.5 acres near the city’s downtown core, and is conveniently located near shopping, dining, and public transportation.
Concept art showing the front of our new building.
Nationwide studies have shown the effect that a vibrant art center can have on its community. Terms like “Creative Placemaking” and “Ripple Effect” attempt to describe how such a center can transform cities from places where people go to sleep to neighborhoods that are alive and dynamic; where people live and take pride in their hometown.
The Need For A Community Center
At this time, there are no halls, theaters or large meeting spaces in Marysville, other than those associated with schools and churches. City officials are unable to call town meetings, schools have no options in town to hold dances or graduations off-campus. Local dance schools have to rent expensive halls in neighboring cities for their recitals.
By transforming the former lumber yard into a community meeting place, residents of Marysville will finally have a place to go for civic events of all kinds. They can come see their kids dance and create, and people of all ages will get the chance to act, sing, play music, and express themselves with pride without leaving their neighborhood.
The interior of the building, showing a temporary stage.
The arts center can also act as a central hub for all arts-related activities in town, no matter where they happen, by promoting community and school events. The proposed box office can serve as a central ticketing location for all local events, providing ease of purchase and saving other groups the cost of staffing and maintaining their own ticketing systems.
The green spaces planned around the facility will act as pockets of relaxation for our neighbors. The pocket park will be an ideal location for small gatherings and weddings, and will increase the versatility of the building’s use. By adding commercial kitchen equipment to our concessions area, the building will be able to support catering needs on-site.
A model showing the planned interior of the theater.
Our Immediate Goal
The building was first built in 1967, and has had very few updates since then. As such, the facility does not meet current regulations for fire safety or ADA compliance. These upgrades must be made immediately in order for RCF to begin programming on a regular basis. In addition, we are in need of funds for the down payment on the property. We are currently operating under a lease agreement with Dunn Lumber, and cannot make many of the necessary upgrades to the building to meet safety code until we have closed on the purchase.Your contribution will help Red Curtain meets our immediate goals, make improvements on the building, and begin having a very real, positive effect on the residents and business owners in Marysville. Please consider donating today!