Events to highlight town’s new cultural center discussed Tuesday.
by David Leone, Associate Editor
WAKE FOREST — Town leaders have some grand ideas for the opening of their new cultural arts center, not the least of which is to host a film festival.
“I really like the idea,” Commissioner Zachary Donahue said. “Consider making it an annual event.”
His comment came during a work session Tuesday, in which commissioners agreed to rename the former Tuxedo Junction nightclub as the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre.
The board also gave permission for the town to proceed with planning a grand opening celebration at the facility Nov. 14-16.
As part of those festivities, town staff would like to showcase the possibilities the center can exhibit, hence the film fest. Other ideas include a gala, local music show and a night of entertainment featuring headline performers.
“The first event needs to be dynamic, big time,” Commissioner Margaret Stinnett encouraged.
Commissioners also ironed out an agreement and a change to the ordinance banning consumption of alcohol on town properties that would allow the sale of wine, beer and liquor for events at the Renaissance Centre.
They expect to hire a full-time facility director in September. Part-time help would also be needed.
In June the board voted to purchase the former Tuxedo Junction and Rejoice Community School for $1.2 million. The properties total 13,000 square feet. The adjoining properties are located in Renaissance Place at the corner of Brooks Street and Elm Avenue.
Under the terms of the purchase agreement, Wake Forest will assume control of the Renaissance Centre in late July.
Rejoice Community School will continue to operate at its current location through June, 2014. Town officials say the properties will be converted into a cultural center that hosts a variety of events and activities, with an emphasis on the arts.
That said, they also want to be able to rent it out for a variety of activities including weddings, parties — or even be used as a small civic center.
There was some quibbling over how to seek out reservations for the center. Parks and Recreation Director Ruben Wall suggested allowing cultural groups first dibs on reservations every year in November, but Mayor Vivian Jones pooh-poohed the idea that the calendar would need renewing annually.
“You can’t do that for this facility,” she said, noting that some people may want to make reservations a year out, or further.
For more information about the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, contact Wall at 919-435-9561 or e-mail [email protected]