100 Years of Arts for All Ages at SCAC
When it opened in 1919, the Sharonville Cultural Arts Center (SCAC) was a vaudeville theater, presenting specialty acts that were popular at the turn of the twentieth century. 100 years later, at the dawn of a new decade, the historic building is still in the business of entertaining, featuring theater, fine art and film for all ages.
SCAC Development Director and House Manager Matthew Taylor has a vision for this bustling community center for all things art. He and his spouse, SCAC’s Executive Director and Box Office Manager Michelle Taylor, work together to bring quality arts experiences to the area.
“We are a community-happening place,” Matthew explains. “Everybody from Sharonville remembers SCAC as a place to go for movies, but it also has a storied history of vaudeville and all kinds of other shows. With our partner, Performing Arts, Inc., we are able to expand the way children and adults are introduced to theater in the Greater Cincinnati area,” he shares.
With locally-owned Performing Arts, Inc., the SCAC hosts music and dance lessons and theatrical presentations of musicals and dramas. The 2020 season brings to the stage popular shows like Annie, The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz and more. They put on one show per quarter for each age group, both musicals and dramas—about 45 performances over the course of the year. With recitals and showcases, the SCAC schedule will be full and include something for everyone.
“The building was saved by and for the community, so it belongs to them,” Matthew says. “It would be great to get the general community in on a Friday or Saturday night to enjoy all that we have to offer.”
In addition to theater performances, SCAC also displays visual art. They welcome a new artist exhibit into their Westheimer Gallery on the first Friday of each month with a free reception that is open to the public. At these monthly parties, the community is invited to meet the artist, view the art and enjoy complimentary wine and snacks.
The 2020 lineup includes the Princeton Young Artist’s Invitational, featuring student works in a variety of media and the annual juried art show and competition, Art North. Several tri-state artists will be on exhibit, free to the public during select hours each month.
“In February through June and August through the end of the year, every first Friday, we have a new opening in the gallery,” says Matthew. “There’s something new to see every month. Last year, we introduced oil painter Nate Flanagan, who will be back again this year with his paintings that emulate the great masters.”
Once upon a time, the unique building at Reading and Creek Roads in Sharonville was a silent movie house with live music accompaniment by piano students living in Sharonville. In celebration of its 100th birthday, SCAC hopes to one day bring films back to the venue.
“We are going to try and have some movies,” Matthew explains. “We are working toward getting a license for the theater again so we can show some TCM-style movies, and maybe get some matinees for seniors,” he adds.
You can help make a difference at SCAC by making a donation to their fundraising campaign, “Make Virtual a Reality at SCAC.”
“We hope to improve our scenery and lighting,” Matthew says. “We want to add virtual scenery to our stage, where a line of short-throw projectors project scenery on the back of the theater wall. It can be animated and move and change to match the shows. Virtual templates are available with each show.”
“An updated lighting system will be cleaner, greener and keener,” he shares. “It will be a giant energy savings and will change not only how the audience views the shows, but also how our actors experience performing.”
Past fundraising efforts allowed for new, comfortable seating in the vintage theater.
Matthew issues an open invitation to the surrounding neighborhoods to see what is happening and get involved at the Sharonville Cultural Arts Center.
“Check our schedule and see what is going on here,” he says. “Come get a glass of wine and see an art opening, see a cute show in the theater or if we are lucky enough to get a license, we might have a movie showing that interests you. If you are ready for a little bit of nostalgia and a lot of fun, come join us.”
Sharonville Cultural Arts Center, 11165 Reading Road, Sharonville, 513.554.1014, SharonvilleCulturalArts.org.
SCAC: Arts for All Ages
The 151-seat theater hosts shows at affordable prices, just down the road from West Chester.
View the work of a local artist in free exhibits at the Westheimer Gallery. First Friday receptions introduce new works each month.
Silent and independent-style films are hopefully coming soon to SCAC.