On November 4, after more than 40 years as a hub for community performing artists to showcase their talents, Trillium Performing Arts Collective and its creators will celebrate retirement and pass the torch to the members of Encore Community Arts, in a debut performance showcasing community performing artists at Lewis Theatre. The performance begins at 7:00 p.m.
The story leading up to this transition began three years ago. As with many individuals, businesses, and non-profits, the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a devastating blow to an organization dependent upon state funding and community fundraising endeavors. Then, a year ago, when the space Trillium had been renting was placed for sale, members became concerned about what that would mean for their future as community artists, and how their lease would be affected.
Recently, a prospective buyer emerged, and to the relief of the Board, the prospective new owner is strongly pro-arts and pro-film. They are interested in not only rebooting the film side of the Lewis Theatre, but they are also committed to supporting the local arts movement.
As Trillium Performing Arts Collective members wished to retire after decades of serving the performing arts community, several others who have been involved with Trillium stepped in and Encore Community Arts was born. Encore Community Arts consists of Trillium veterans Michael Buttrill, Devin Preston, and Hannah Morningstar-Stout. They are also joined by new performers and board members Caleb Zopp and Rebekah Lilly. This new name and organization serves to give the retiring artists some distance as they enjoy their retirement, while maintaining a strong thread of continuity in carrying forward Trillium’s mission of building a stronger community through providing opportunities for local artists.
Another exciting aspect of Encore Community Arts is the new and evolving Encore School of Dance, led by Hannah Morningstar-Stout, who is joined by new teacher, Makayla Casenelli. The Encore School of Dance offers traditional dance instruction in Jazz, Tap, and Ballet. Currently, the School of Dance instructs ages from tots to teens, and they are hoping to recruit a teacher to teach adults in the future.
Currently, Encore’s primary focus is performing arts, but they are looking to add more visual arts
to their repertoire by utilizing their lobby and office space. Encore’s aim is to not only return to the former
glory of showcasing performances by local talent, but to usher in a new Golden Era for Encore’s community performing arts collective. Michael Buttrill emphasized, “We are open. We are a community based group. We’re moving forward, trying to integrate as many new artists as possible. We are a resource for as many community based artists as possible.”
Encore’s debut will feature performances by Encore School of Dance, new local band Crazy Carl and the Mustard Bizkits, Alyssa Jade-Jarrett, Second Block Rock, and an exhibition of visual art by local artists in the lobby of the Lewis Theatre. Ticket prices are: Adults – $10, Students – $5, with ages 3 and under admitted for free. Lewis Theatre is located at 867 Court Street N in Lewisburg.