New group seeks public input on events for Chester Town Hall Upstairs at Town Hall to hold open house on March 13

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A small group of volunteers is spearheading an effort to bring back music, theater and arts events to the 2nd floor of Chester Town Hall, 556 Elm St., the refurbished theater space that seats 245 and is currently used mostly for Select Board and other government meetings.

Original theater lighting at Town Hall in Chester. Photo provided by Upstairs at Town Hall.

The group, known as Upstairs at Town Hall and created by Evan Parks and Renee and Robert Nied, is also looking for public input into uses for the space. They’ve scheduled a community open house for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13. Everyone interested in using or helping out with activities is urged to attend and contribute to the discussion. Refreshments will be served.

The town recently renovated the entire space, adding acoustic tiles on the ceiling and new lighting, flooring, a refurbished kitchen and handicapped accessible bathroom.  The town is also applying for a $70,000 Vermont Arts Council grant to purchase a new projector, sound system, large screen and high-definition cameras for live streaming.

Upstairs at Town Hall hopes the 2nd floor can serve the community as a cultural center and setting for events like indoor concerts, dances, youth programs, spoken-word events, lectures, fundraisers, community meals, exercise classes, jams, performances and festivals.

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Filed Under: ChesterLatest News

About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor more than 40 years. Cynthia has worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland, and has won numerous state awards for her reporting. As an editor, she has overseen her staffs to win many awards for indepth coverage. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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  1. Arlene Mutschler says:

    Talk to Friends of Town hall in Ludlow, they have things in the hall all the time.

  2. Barre Pinske says:

    This is awesome I really hope this gets off the ground arts and culture are so important to communities. It would be really nice to get something going there.

  3. Evan Parks says:

    Thank you Cynthia for helping to spread the word!

    We hope to help make this wonderful space as useful as possible for our fellow Chester area residents, non-profits, and businesses. Please, if you have ideas for what you would like to use this wonderful theater for, we would love to meet you at our open house, so we can learn what you might need to help this facility serve you well.

    A few ideas, like round banquet tables, and more electrical outlets for catering have already been discussed, in addition to a sound system, improved lighting, and curtains.

    If you are not able to make the open house, please send us your ideas, and potential function requirements, to our official email address, which is:

    It is a wonderful space, and a huge asset for our little community, lets make it the best that it can be! Looking forward to your future events, classes, programs, presentations, community meals, weddings, concerts, meetings, poetry readings, open mics, etc.!

    We have a few fun and interesting events planned for this lovely space, in the not so distant future, so please stay tuned for those announcements.