The Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple has been awarded a $60,000 Special Projects Matching Capital Arts and Culture Grant from Lackawanna County for improvements to various areas in the building to accommodate the new Creative and Performing Arts Academy, a year-long multi-disciplinary arts program, announced the Lackawanna County Commissioners Jim Wansacz, Corey D. O’Brien and Patrick M. O’Malley.
To qualify for the funding, the Cultural Center had to raise a match of $60,000 for a total of $120,000 for the renovations.
The Commissioners believe the project “represents a much needed upgrade for the landmark structure,” which was inaugurated in January 1930. The new space will be an enhancement for all types of performing arts.
The project is in line with the Masonic Fraternity’s desire to preserve the physical structure of the center and to serve as an “ongoing programming source for the community.”
Numerous Broadway plays, famous stars and musical greats that have grace its stage, dressing rooms and hallways since it opened over 80 years ago. Renowned architect Raymond Hood designed the crown jewel for the community, which has undergone several renovations to keep pace with the arts sector.
When the project is totally completed, the new space will provide for a capacity of up to 120 students from greater Scranton, Lackawanna County and outside the area to participate in activities encompassing the following — movement, theater, dance, art and music.
The new “space” will be used for the following programs:
Creative and Performing Arts Academy Camp: The camp is broken into two divisions — “Little Dragon Playhouse and “SummerStage.” The “Little Dragon Playhouse” is an all-day camp for children ages three through fourth grade. This one to two week camp opportunity is the perfect fit for those who want to explore a variety of activities and participate in a weekly theatre and musical performance. The “SummerStage” performance camps are for young performers going into fifth grade through 12th grade. The camps include two different productions, two trips to a Broadway show, and a week dedicated to the art of clowning and comedy.
Creative and Performing Arts Academy After-School and Evening Programming: This initiative includes classes in theater, acting techniques, improvisation, character analysis and scene study, and play writing. Programming will also include classes in dance - movement for actors; Broadway styles (jazz, tap, modern, and ballet); and contemporary styles (modern, hip-hop, and body percussion). It will also involve private lessons in voice, piano, guitar, strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. A choral program will be offered featuring children’s choirs (pre-K through fourth grade), chamber choir (grades five through twelve), and show-choir (all ages).
The new space will also be used for production rehearsals for plays and musicals, choreography, a wide-variety of workshops, master classes, guest artist programs, and community days.