Celebration Arts seeks new space

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After 23 years in the same location, the staff at Celebration Arts is now homeless and anxiously looking for a place to land so that the company can carry on as a self-described “multi-cultural, multi-discipline performing arts organization.”

According to Artistic Director James Wheatley, Celebration Arts lost its lease last month when the adjoining business decided to expand. And that’s left Wheatley scrambling to find another location where he can continue teaching and producing dance and theater that recognizes and celebrates African-American history and culture.

Ever the optimist, Wheatley says he’s “a bit anxious, and quite excited about the opportunity to grow.” The theater’s current East Sacramento location is a bit off the beaten track for theater-goers, making it hard for people to find.

“There was no question in our minds about the need to continue our work,” Wheatley said. “The [company’s] board [of directors] was unanimous that we must continue. And that decision is supported by our participants and patrons.”

But facing high rent and few options, Wheatley admits, “Relocation is very challenging because it was not something we were planning to do.

“There was no time for long-range planning and fundraising,” he says.

The move will inevitably be expensive but Wheatley says he’s mindful of not passing along too many expenses to audiences.

“Though our costs will increase, we still need to keep our programs and productions accessible as stated in our mission,” he said. “We’ve proven that we are here to stay, and we hope that we can greatly grow support for the organization.”

For more information on ways to help call (916) 455-2787 or email celebrationarts@att.net.