Belmont Abbey College received $9 million in funding from the North Carolina General Assembly in its 2023-2024 budget towards the total cost for the construction of a new performing arts center.
"The Performing Arts Center at Belmont Abbey College will greatly enrich the lives of the people in our community,” said NC Senator Brad Overcash. “I am proud of the $9 million appropriation to create this important community resource." NC Representative John Torbett echoes this sentiment, stating, "I am extremely proud to be a part of the building of Belmont Abbey College's success through the building of a world-class cultural destination. This performing arts center will assist in growing the talents of our youth as well as presenting the talents of professional artists. I am especially honored to have played a part with so many others in support of the Abbey."
Why it matters: The construction of an outfitted performance space will provide opportunities for theater and stage productions, as well as dance competitions, art exhibits, and conferences, making Gaston County a desired destination for large, high-quality events and performances.
What they’re saying: Chris Peek, President and CEO of CaroMont Health, has also emphasized the economic benefits of the new facility, stating that “this new facility will not only support students in their quest to learn, grow and perform, but will also serve as a major economic development agent for Gaston County and the region.”
Patrick Mumford, President and CEO of the Gaston Business Association (GBA) shares a similar viewpoint: “The GBA recognizes Gaston County’s artistic and cultural assets, such as the proposed performing arts center on the campus of Belmont Abbey College (BAC), are essential to sustaining economic growth. We are encouraged by the recognition of this facility’s ability to address arts events and performance needs of not only BAC, but also those of the broader Gaston arts community.”
What’s next: The Abbey will be developing a Community Leaders' Advisory Committee to give input for the study, programming, and conceptual design for construction of the performing arts center. The committee will solicit and collect input from the college's constituents and other subject matter experts.