The Smith Center for the Arts, Inc. is committed to providing and sustaining diverse arts and education enrichment opportunities for Finger Lakes residents and visitors, while maintaining its historic venue – the Smith Opera House.
The Smith Opera House is one of the oldest operating performing arts theaters in the U.S. and is recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. Called an "architectural gem" by The New York Times and the Smithsonian, The Smith has presented a wide variety of performances, from burlesque to Bruce Springsteen. The Smith is the cultural anchor of community life for Geneva and surroundings, featuring local performances, hosting meetings, and cheering area students as they cross our stage each June for their high school graduations.
The Smith is a 127 year old theatrical venue but it is not a museum. In order to be sustainable, it must continue to be a valued community space that is relevant to each new generation of creators and audience members. The Smith seeks to have a reason for every member of the county to cross our threshold at least once a year. We seek support for programming that will allow us to present performers that will reach new audiences and keep ticket prices within reach, despite the costs of maintaining our historic building.
The Smith partners with many local amateur and semi-professional organizations that need a home in which to produce opera, theatre, dance and musical concerts in a variety of genres. The Smith’s professional staff use their experience and expertise to help these groups envision their work, tangle with technology, reach audiences and deliver a positive experience to both artist and audience. Young performers may have their first experience of a "real" stage at The Smith as several dance schools set up residency at The Smith on an annual basis and the stage has been used for several dance competitions. The ArtSmart educational theatre program welcomes young theatregoers into the historic space and encourages them to participate in talkbacks with the artists after the show to learn more about how the story was told.
Geneva residents are proud of The Smith; it is an extraordinary asset for a city as small as Geneva. Events such as Geneva High School graduation, dance school recitals, and screenings of popular films demystify the “opera house” label and make the building accessible and familiar. As our community changes, The Smith can use its status in the community to help push the envelope of what is celebrated, allowed, and/or expected. The Smith's programming has celebrated Pride Month and Hispanic Heritage month and ArtSmart performances have dealt with racism and human rights.
The Smith is the only full-time, year-round, professional arts organization in Geneva. The organization maintains strategic relationships with many institutions in the region, especially Hobart and William Smith Colleges, business leaders, and directors of local social services and other not-for-profit organizations that serve local residents. Together with these partners, The Smith seeks to improve the lives of Geneva residents by bringing them engaging films and performing arts experiences that educate, entertain, and provoke. The Smith is a member of several national and regional organizations such as Americans for the Arts, Association of Performing Arts Professionals, CONSert, League of Historic American Theaters, and National Independent Venues Association.
We focus on: Arts and Culture, Community Benefit and Economic Development
Where we are: Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, Yates
We have a matching grant!
The Smith's Board and Friends Matching Grant
The Smith's Board encourages you to support this jewel of the Finger Lakes and become part of The Smith Family.
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