_The Chatfield Center for the Arts is a true public private partnership. The Chatfield Economic Development Authority owns the infrastructure, yet an all volunteer group that is the Chatfield Center for the Arts Advisory Committee acts as administrative agents of the Chatfield Center for the Arts. The advisory committee is responsible for event planning, CCFA policy development, fundraising, and the proposed improvements to turn the historic 1916 and Potter Auditorium buildings into a modern, sustainable, regional destination for the arts. The Chatfield Center for the Arts Advisory Committee is led by F. Mike Tuohy. Currently the fiscal administrative agent for the Chatfield Center for the Arts is the Chosen Valley Community Foundation, the largest non-profit philanthropic in the area. Together this is a community wide effort to create an arts center with regional influence
The Chatfield Center for the Arts is made up of performance spaces, conference rooms, and multipurpose rooms. We are currently undergoing a major modernization project, however there are several spaces currently available with some currently in the process of modernization and will be available soon.
American Legion Room This room has been completely updated using period lighting, refinished floors and original cabinetry. This space acts as either a large meeting space, small performance venue or can be modified to act as an elegant reception area.
Board Room This meeting room located in the balcony of Potter Auditorium is a large meeting room modernized and updated with period lighting, cabinetry and fixtures and is available to serve conferences and meetings. (In progress)
Library Room This room is a smaller more intimate performance space suitable for performers that want a more personal audience experience. It can also be transformed into an elegant site for dances, receptions or conferences. (In progress)
Potter Auditorium The spacious theatre known as Potter Auditorium is the foundation of the Chatfield Center for the Arts facilities. This Auditorium is an active, fully capable theatre/performance space with seating for more than 700, full stage lighting, microphones, spotlights, and all the infrastructure supporting live theatre or music performances.
Since it opened in 1936, the Potter Auditorium has been an irreplaceable community asset as well as a potent symbol of the town's commitment to public education and the cultural enrichment of citizens of all ages. Designed by one of the state's most important architecture and engineering firms, the building is a notable, well preserved example of PWA modern style architecture.
The 1916 high school building is also historically and architecturally distinguished and it reflects the history of public education in Chatfield. Contextually, it shows the influence of the early twentieth-century educational reform movement in school building design and construction.
The two buildings share the following character defining elements:
Potter Auditorium has been an integral part of the heritage of the Chosen Valley for more than 75 years. Potter Auditorium was built in the 1930's during the Great Depression and is now a historic landmark of national significance. It is during our time now, another period of economic hardship, that Potter needs a re-birth through renovation and modernization so that future generations can enjoy what past generations already have.
The Chatfield Community is committed to the preservation and continuance of this still functional building. Conversion and expansion of the current structure into a 21st Century regional arts center, while preserving its historical character, will enhance the enjoyment of the community for residents and visitors alike.
In order to accomplish this, Potter Auditorium will be modernized and retrofitted into a regional, multi-use facility designed to enhance the enjoyment of theatrical and musical presentations in addition to speakers or conferences using the facility.
Regional activities that have been successful in Potter Auditorium, historically, will be continued in a modernized Regional Center for the Arts, include:
The plan for the transformation of these historic buildings into a modern regional arts center includes significant upgrades and improvements to the buildings while being true to their original architectural and historical framework. We are very fortunate that these buildings were built to last and were well maintained, leaving the buildings with little work needed on the foundations, walls, or roofs. The layout of the buildings is also very conducive to the proposed use. In fact, the 1916 building original floor plan included a small performance space that can be used to complement the much larger Potter Auditorium.
What is needed is modernization (electric and plumbing), additional services (particularly restrooms), and updates to the paint, trim, and windows. Some flooring needs to be replaced as the asbestos abatement required removal of some of the original floors. To complete this task the project has been split into phases. We have also prioritized the refurbishment of rooms. As money becomes available, we will also update and modernize rooms to bring them into use.