Delray Beach, FL – Old School Square announces a new name, new logo and new website. The cultural arts center’s name will officially change to Delray Beach Center for the Arts and the new website (DelrayCenterForTheArts.org) will launch on September 4th.
A community celebration is planned for Friday, October 12th with an Open House in the Crest Theatre, Cornell Museum and Vintage Gymnasium from 5:30-7, a ribbon-cutting at 7:15 and an outdoor concert at The Pavilion with Across the Universe, a Beatles Tribute band, at 7:30. The entire evening is free and open to the public. What began 26 years ago as an arts-based, historic preservation project, igniting Delray’s downtown renaissance, has evolved into an award-winning, nationally recognized, multi- disciplinary arts organization. “In the beginning, the name Old School Square Cultural Arts Center was a good fit,” says Joe Gillie, President and CEO. “The restored school buildings became the Cornell Museum and Crest Theatre, with the gymnasium as a major rental facility. These “Delray Beach Schools” were listed on the National Register of Historic Places and their preservation became a significant element in the community.” As the years progressed, however, the name of the organization tended to be shortened to Old School Square, and the staff, volunteers and board found themselves constantly having to explain what Old School Square is – Delray’s center for the arts.
As the organization has grown to include the School of Creative Arts and the outdoor Pavilion, both with a host of new programming, the significance now lies more in the programs and services; however, the history and the beautiful, historic buildings are always honored. In an early video which captured the folks behind the initial restoration effort, Old School Square founder and chairman emeritus, Frances F. Bourque stated, “What we become depends on how this community responds.” Last year, during a community forum, the Old School Square board and staff learned that the time was right to refresh the organization. “We took everything we heard to heart and wanted to respond to the community,” says Board Chairman, Scott Porten. “The name change was logical. Delray Beach Center for the Arts is exactly what we are. It needs no explanation. The new name also implies that we are multi-disciplinary, which was lost with the Old School Square name.” “Our Mission remains the same, and our vision for the future will be strengthened,” says Gillie. “We will continue to be the community gathering place for Delray Beach and a leader in developing partnerships to nurture artistic expression. We will continue to grow as a multi- disciplinary organization, striving to offer a broad range of programs and services that will inspire every segment of the community, and we will always preserve this National Historic Site.” With the name change comes a fresh, new logo depicting four arches, which represent the Center’s major areas of focus: Events, Theater, Exhibits, and Learning. External changes to the site, to include creative lighting, signage and art, will be phased in. New programming for the 2012-13 Season includes an expanded schedule of Free Friday Concerts at The Pavilion, new showcases of art and photography created by enrolled students, culinary events and classes, Cartooning for Kids, The Writers’ Colony, an exhibit of one of the world’s largest private collection of golf memorabilia, special Main Stage events for new audiences, Shakespeare at The Pavilion, and a new partnership to launch Art Cinema in the Crest Theatre. The Delray Beach Center for the Arts is located at Old School Square, on the corner of Atlantic and Swinton Avenues, in downtown Delray Beach. The campus includes the Cornell Museum of Art and American Culture (in the former 1913 Delray Elementary building), the Crest Theatre (in the former 1925 high school building), the Vintage Gymnasium (c. 1925), The Pavilion (a state of the art outdoor performance venue), and the School of Creative Arts (located in the Crest Theatre classrooms), where events, theater, exhibits and learning opportunities enrich the South Florida community. Programs are sponsored in part by the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council, the Florida Arts Council and the Palm Beach County Cultural Council, the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency and the City of Delray Beach. For information on programs or facility rentals, call 561-243-7922 or visit www.delraycenterforthearts.org.