Big Plans

Change of plans! After 18 months of trying every which way to make our vision for the Zion Building happen, skyrocketing renovation costs forced us to pull back from that project.

Into that open space came an incredible opportunity, to purchase the three-building Gateway City Arts complex down the block at 92 Race St. We've been working closely with Lori Divine and Vitek Kruta, co-owners and co-creators of Gateway City Arts to build on the amazing facility and foundation they created in Holyoke over the last 12 years.

Our goal is to open in the new space this coming September.

We are absolutely thrilled at the possibilities this acquisition offers. Here is the listing if you'd like to see photos.

The purchase includes three buildings, within which are two performance venues. The 100 person capacity, Divine Theater will be occupied by LightHouse by day for our theater program and other classes and activities, and will be shared with the community on evenings and weekends.

A second 500 person capacity venue is housed in a separate, adjacent building and will be leased to a partnering organization. The large venue (new name coming!)- will continue as a concert and performance hall for nationally touring acts AND become home to a Production Academy, a new program within LightHouse for youth to learn skills entailed in the entertainment production industry, from lighting to sound to artist management... within the context of a live venue.

The site also includes a cafe which is fully licensed and ready to reopen as a public facing cafe. We are currently seeking someone who would like to take on the lease of the cafe with a plan to work together to develop a sequence of courses and training leading to paid work in this student-run-cafe-to-be. The cafe will make lunch for us as well as serve the public.

The main building also has a 2,000 sq ft wood shop and a ceramics studio, both of which will be part of a community maker space which will offer classes to LightHouse students during the day and to the larger community during evenings and weekends.

Each floor of the main building is about 8,000 sq ft. LightHouse will occupy the first and second floors. The first floor will hold reception, our theater, and an open common room/cafeteria space. The second floor will hold our classrooms and offices, to include a media lab, a science lab, a fine art studio, a fiber arts studio, our relocated recording studio, a meditation space, and several seminar-style classroom spaces.

The third floor will be available for lease to friends or other nonprofits.

SO MUCH is in development. Very much looking forward to your collective thoughts and guidance and to sharing updates as they unfold. Our goal is to open in the new space in September with 90 students.