Home to local arts and artists and a wonderful venue for a variety of live performances, the Carysbrook Performing Arts Center is hidden gem in Fluvanna County.
Located halfway between Palmyra and Fork Union, the one-time school auditorium was built in 1934 and is representative of school architecture of its day. However, the Carysbrook Auditorium has always been known for its wonderful acoustics. Sound engineers even today cannot explain why some auditoriums are great, and others not so, but no entertainer has appeared at Carysbrook without commenting on the great acoustics.
When a new Fluvanna County High School was built and opened in 1974, use of the school building would be reimagined. Initially, the county social services departments and later the county library, occupied the space at Carysbrook. But what of that great auditorium? It was to stand empty for nearly 20 years.
Later used for school storage, it succumbed to dust, mold and decay – the seats removed and thrown away. In 1992, a new use for Carysbrook was envisioned by Fluvanna newcomers at Lake Monticello alongside former Carysbrook graduates who still lived in the county.
Over the next five years, under the direction of the newly formed non-profit group, The Fluvanna County Arts Council, those dreams and memories took shape. The former school auditorium eventually evolving into a fine facility with state of the art lighting and sound equipment and a dedicated group of volunteers to keep it moving. The newly remodeled facility was dedicated on October 18, 1997. Each season since, between 10 and 15 programs have been offered to the public for their pleasure and entertainment.
Today, the over 270-seat theater offers performers and audiences a unique combination of intimate setting with an old-school charm. Overseen by the Fluvanna Arts Council, a not-for-profit organization with the mission of presenting professional and community music, dance, and theatrical events at the Carysbrook Performing Arts Center, the center today draws audiences from Fluvanna and surrounding communities.