Where else could you see Patsy Cline, Prince, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Neil Diamond within the same year?
Well, it’s impossible as some of them are actually dead … but The Legacy Theater in Carthage is doing their best to honor their “legacies” by bringing tribute performers to Carthage.
The Legacy Theater was built in 1953 and part of its history includes ties to three educational institutions: Carthage College, Robert Morris College, and Carl Sandburg College.
In 2016, Carl Sandburg College sold the 525-seat facility to the City of Carthage. The Legacy Theater Foundation was created, and a rebranding process began.
Joy Swearingen is the fundraising chairperson of the Foundation. She said their mission is twofold.
“To create excellent quality of life for the people who live right in this region and bring something really valuable to them,” Swearingen said. “And also to create an asset that would be an economic development driver ‘for the area’.”
Swearingen said the Pandemic didn’t slow them down.
“That was really an asset for us and for the community, because it’s large enough that people who were wanting to have meetings and needed to be able to distance people … (we) had a very comfortable setting where they could hold a meeting,” she said.
The theater also posted videos of regional performers as a way to continue their mission during the shutdown.
The Foundation also has an educational aspect to their mission offering free performances and programs to students.
“(They) can come to the theater and just learn, learn to appreciate the arts. For example, when we had the Nutcracker ballet come from Minnesota, we were able to have our own students take part in that production,” she said. “A grant took care of some of the the fees for the local dance instructors who train the students to be ready when they when the act came to town.”
All of this in a town of 2500.
“One of the … comments we’ve had is, you don’t even know when you get in here,” Swearingen said. “You don’t even think you’re in Carthage, you know, it feels like it’s a much bigger entertainment venue, or that you might be in a big town.”
For a list of events at The Legacy Theater visit their website www.thelegacytheater.com.
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