The Center for the Arts of Greater Manassas/Prince William County sponsors theatrical productions for children and adults, teaches arts classes, promotes visual arts and provides community outreach programs for local youth. Founded in 1984 by a group of artists and art lovers, the Center aims to enrich the quality of life in the Northern Virginia suburbs through arts performance and education. A theater, an art gallery and classrooms are located in the historic Candy Factory building in Old Town Manassas, at 9419 Battle Street.
The Center for the Arts
The level of programming at the Center for the Arts has increased dramatically with our move to the Old Hopkins Candy Factory in November of 2002. This three story historic brick building was owned by the Caton Merchant family of Merchant’s, Inc. It was donated to the City of Manassas by Merchants, Inc., specifically to house the Center for the Arts and expanded cultural activities. The Candy Factory houses a theater in the round, classroom and office space and an art gallery. Restoration of the Candy Factory began in August 2001 and was completed in October 2002, when the Center for the Arts took residence.
The first floor of the Candy Factory is the most public area of the facility. Not only does the first floor house a reception area for the Center – for welcoming and directing visitors, but it is configured as a gallery to host rotating art shows and exhibits. Art lectures and slide presentations, recitals and musical concerts are easily accommodated in this space. The gallery is the area most often in demand as rental space by outside entities for civic and government activities, weddings, corporate meetings and receptions. The open space lends itself to both banquet type seating as well as conference type seating. A service kitchen facilitates its use for receptions.
The second floor is the heart of the Center’s operations, housing classrooms and administrative offices. Multipurpose classrooms located on the second floor expand the variety of classes the Center offers for both adults and children.
The adaptability of the theater space allows theatrical presentations utilizing traditional auditorium seating as well as seating in the round. The third floor provides additional space for weddings, corporate meetings and receptions, lectures, poetry readings, recitals and chamber concerts.