It is a celebration 20 years in the making.
Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley will hold a free, public open house 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 12, in honor of the milestone.
According to a press release, the community is invited to take a stroll down memory lane, with an opportunity to see pictures, posters, costumes, props and other memorabilia. Refreshments, including light hors d’oeuvres and birthday cake will be served.
The celebration of the community art center’s 20th anniversary will continue over the weekend, as the Rural Characters host a variety show featuring many of the artists who have performed there over the years, including Sing!Chronicity, the first group to perform at WICA. The variety show will also include performances by Whidbey Island Dance Theatre, Saratoga Chamber Players, The Heggeness Valley Boys, Troy Chapman, Judith Adams and many more.
Shows will take place Saturday and Sunday, May 14 and 15, at 7:30 p.m. All seats are $22.
The nonprofit arts center opened its doors May 16, 1996. A grassroots effort raised $1.2 million to build the first phase of the project, an unheard of amount of money at the time for a community project, said the release.
In 2006, the “Stage Two” expansion added a green room, scene shop, dressing rooms, costume and prop storage, administrative offices and an additional performance space to the complex.
Throughout its growth, WICA’s mission has remained the same, according to the release – “to provide a diverse season of high-quality, multi-disciplinary artistic programming” while providing opportunities for education and community participation.
“WICA is a gathering place for artistic expression and social connections,” said founding board member Debra Waterman.
As the organization celebrates its first two decades, it hopes to continue to serve as a cultural hub for the city of Langley, South Whidbey Island and beyond, the release stated.
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