In 2004 Nana Simopoulos met with Donna Cesan, the town of Adams Community Development Director and saw the theater for the first time. They discussed the potential for a cultural center in Adams utilizing the space inside the old Adams Theater. Donna Cesan explained that it would take a very long time for the town to raise the funds to purchase the theater and turn it into a cultural institution but if a private group were to purchase it, the funds would be more quickly obtained. Nana Simopoulos explained to Donna Cesan that she could raise the funds to secure the purchase of the building but would not be able to secure the funds to renovate it. Donna Cesan assured her that the town would be able to assist in renovating the theater through community development grants.
The Non-profit and Its For-Profit Sister Organization Topia Arts LLC was formed and entered into a lease agreement with the owner of the theater with the option to buy. There became an urgent need in 2005 for site control due to the threat of a forclosure sale of the property by the bank. There was a need to salvage a facade grant that was allocated to the theater by the Town of Adams Community Development Department. Topia Arts, LLC, purchased the note from the bank and salvaged the grant by being in a position as owners to sign a 15-year promissory note to guarantee stewardship of the theater improvements.
Soon after, Topia Arts Center, Inc was formed as a non-profit 501(c)(3)corporation, to be the arts and education center. The nonprofit entity would allow for grants and donations to be obtained in order to renovate, develop and eventually operate the performing arts and education center in accordance with its mission of providing a creative space for the arts to be cultivated and enjoyed.
The need for a separate entity that could act quickly was one reason to form a for-profit entity. The for-profit business could also provide the support services (food, wine, lodging) that help attract potential audiences and serve as opportunities for informing them about Arts Center programs. It would have taken a great deal longer for the Arts Center to raise the funds to purchase the building.
This renovated space has helped the nonprofit to begin its community programming, build its audience base, provide a place for people to go to find out about the Center and voice dreams and concerns as the Center takes shape so that the eventual Arts Center is a collaborative vision between the founders and the community.