New Spire Arts STAGES revitalizes a centrally located, historic 14,000 sf building, providing a focal point that contributes to the vitality of the City of Frederick. STAGES supports the nonprofit’s mission to inspire creative engagement from all facets of the community by providing programming and education in, about, and through the performing arts. Two community-focused venues – a flexible studio theater and event space and an informal family-friendly educational and gathering space – provides an arts education and information hub in the heart of the historic cultural district.
Serving as a nexus for community connection through the arts, STAGES occupies an L-shaped building with two identical storefronts on the two primary commercial streets. McCrory’s 5 & 10 store, built in 1928 and modified in 1972, was an important part of the commercial district until the store closed in 1996. The property was subsequently modified to be an arts incubator space, including an ad hoc theater, until New Spire Arts was born and the vision for STAGES matured with leadership from a philanthropic community member.
A state-of-the-art Black Box performance space provides professional quality space for productions and events, accommodating up to 250 patrons in multiple configurations. The Living Room serves as a lobby and community space for events, small productions, educational space, and community reading room. With additional funding, an integrated amphitheater will provide raked seating for educational and performing arts programming. Back-of-house spaces include dressing rooms designed to Actors’ Equity guidelines, green room, catering kitchen, lift to basement storage spaces, as well as visitor support spaces.
Major upgrades to the building include restoration of existing historic storefront facades, replacement of existing roofing, including additional insulation, alterations to the structural system, and all new mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems. The project was awarded State Historic Tax Credits requiring all modifications to meet the Secretary of Interior Standards and approval by Maryland Historic Trust.