MARYSVILLE — If the Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts can make its down payment of $20,000, they'll have a new home in the facility formerly occupied by Dunn Lumber in Marysville.
Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts, a nonprofit arts education organization located in Marysville, has negotiated a lease-purchase agreement with principals of Dunn Lumber for the approximately 1.5-acre property at 1410 Grove St., which includes an approximately 10,000-square-foot main building and an approximately 8,000-square-foot secondary structure.
Scott Randall, president of the Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts, explained that volunteer work crews have already begun cleaning up the large uninterrupted space of the main building, and plan to renovate it in phases, repairing the walls before repainting the interior.
"This building has a $1 million purchase price, which we'll be paying off in chunks," Randall said. "Dunn Lumber has been absolutely terrific to work with. They've been open to negotiations and are really committed to their community."
"That facility was built in 1967, and a lot of its other uses have since become obsolete," said Robert Dunn, president of Dunn Lumber, who noted that his company vacated the space three years ago, and its only other long-term tenant since has been the Turning Point Church of Marysville. "The church had a pretty good run there, but it obviously fits the needs of a performing arts center perfectly, with its large, open indoor spaces."
Dunn described the Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts as "well-established" within the area, with a "track record of good causes" since its inception in 2009, and he believes that helping to foster the arts within the community reflects the connection that continues to exist between Dunn Lumber and Marysville.
"Marysville provided us with a customer base for almost 50 years, and we still have customers and employees alike who live and work there," Dunn said. "This is an opportunity for us to give back."
In the meantime, Randall is hoping to make the Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts' payments to Dunn Lumber not only by applying for grants from the Tulalip Tribes, but also by soliciting aid from the local chapters of several service organizations, as well as other corporate and private donors.
"That first payment will be the hardest," Randall said. "It'll be easier once people in the community can see what we'll be doing with the space, and how cool having an art center in town will be. We haven't had a concentrated art focus in Marysville for nearly 30 years."
Randall would prefer to keep the seating on the floor portable, so that the main building could accommodate not only traditional-style theatrical productions, but also dinner theater and even theater in the round. This flexible layout would also allow the space to serve the seasonal art shows and other programs, including the Marysville Community Food Bank's annual toy store for families in need, that the Dunn Lumber facility has already hosted.
"A lot of times, theatrical venues are sandwiched tightly between other buildings, but our goal is to offer a nice relaxing space, since we believe that your enjoyment of the arts should start from the moment that you pull into the parking lot," Randall said. "We want a versatile space, that could be used for dance lessons, public meetings, weddings, book clubs and knitting clubs."
In addition to the large open front entrance space, the main building also includes a back loading space with two-story storage capacity, which Randall sees as ideal for costumes and backdrops, while the secondary structure has room enough for covered outdoor performance areas, plus additional storage. Randall has even considered removing sections of pavement and replacing them with grass and gardens, although he acknowledged that such a step would be well down the line.
"We're not dreaming of getting rich here," Randall said. "Our intention is to provide a service to the community."
Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts is already planning to host the Marysville Arts Coalition's art show in November, with an accompanying play for free, followed by a Christmas play in December.
For more information, log onto www.redcurtainfoundation.org, or contact Randall by phone at 425-501-7604 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.