The mission of Topia Arts Center is to develop an atmosphere of creativity where original and innovative performing arts and educational programs can thrive and be appreciated. By cultivating creative landscapes, Topia Arts Center improves the quality of life, opens hearts and minds, and allows audiences to participate as members of the creative process. As an incubator space, Topia Arts Center connects international artists with local talent, fostering global perspectives while operating in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.
Topia Arts Center is a “green” artist led performing arts and educational center in development in Adams working to present quality music, dance, theater, circus arts, film and visual art exhibits as well as educational and community programs. It is also committed to serving the local community as a Shared Use Downtown Space. More than just a historical site and raw theater space, Topia, which means landscapes in Greek, hopes to provide fertile ground for convergent creative paths and act as an economic stimulus for the charming New England town of Adams, MA poised for renaissance.
Topia Arts Center has been working steadily to restore and transform the old Adams Theater in Adams, Massachusetts into a state-of-the-art flexible performance space. The Adams Theater was a downtown art-deco movie theater until it closed in 1967, and was a historic cultural site before that. Over the past 10 years, Topia and many volunteers have cleaned up the space, installed electricity, lighting, and exit signs, extended the existing vaudeville stage, and added almost 160 seats recycled from other theaters. From 2005 to 2010, we held performances and workshops, installed exhibits, and showed movies in the theater. These included quality music, dance, theater, circus arts, film and visual art exhibits as well as educational and community programs. In 2011, the theater was closed due to air quality issues and a leak in the roof. Programming continued around town and with global partners as we continued to build institutional presence and work behind the scenes on a Marketing Study and Business Plan by Webb Management, a world-class Theatrical Design by Theatre Consultants Collaborative, a cutting-edge green design and architectural schematics by Berkshire-based Dana Bixby with meetings in the theater of the US Green Building Council. Our grant writing efforts were rewarded with a second grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council for a Fundraising Study which we are now in the process of implementing. We would like to partner with other performance groups to correct the air-quality issue, fix the roof, and reopen the theater. In the meantime, we continue to program free events around town, in the Northern Berkshires and through our creative space on the Nonprofit Island of Second Life where we meet with nonprofit leaders from around the world on a weekly basis. We are working hard to restart programming in the raw space during warm months and ultimately complete the restoration for year-round use.
We will create a unique multipurpose flexible space designed by Robert Long of Theater Consultants Collaborative. Dana Bixby, a local LEED certified architect worked with Robert Long to produce architectural schematic and construction drawings. The entire building will be “green,” designed with environmentally safe materials and low emissions energy systems.
Partnerships with organizations in town who have expressed interest in using the theater are Youth Center, Inc. Adams based Berkshire Dance Theatre, Minerva Stage, CATA, and more.
Topia Arts Center is fortunate to have among its board of directors and advisory board members experts in each of the four disciplines it presents; music, dance, theater and film, which ensures quality programming, a supportive arts organization structure and respect in the industry.