An amphitheater for the Dale County Performing Arts Council moved closer to reality with a $25,000 Community Development Grant from the Wiregrass Resource Conservation and Development Corporation.
At the Dale County Commission meeting June 11, the commission approved Commission Chairman Mark Blankenship’s request to temporarily pass the grant funds through the county account.
The Wiregrass RC and D Corporation has committed to contribute $25,000 towards the project but those funds will not be available until the conclusion of the project, DCPAC member Nicholas Bull told the commission in his letter requesting temporary funding to get the project off the ground.
“We are asking the Dale County Commission to commit to a temporary allocation of $25,000 so that we can have the immediately available funds to start construction on this project,” Bull said in his request.
“As soon as the project is completed and the RC and D funds are made available, the Dale County Performing Arts Council will reimburse the county the entire $25,000,” Bull said. “We hope that you will agree to partner with us and make this project happen that will benefit all of Dale County.”
Blankenship, who is project director for the Dale County Performing Arts Council, told the commission that the amphitheater will be built in the rose garden at the corner of East Reynolds and Union Streets and has “the potential to completely change the face” of downtown Ozark.
The amphitheater will be built on three parcels of land that the owners have verbally agreed to donate to the Dale County Performing Arts Council, Blankenship said.
“The current project plan is to construct a covered amphitheater, complete with stage lighting, sound and electrical connections to provide a world class venue never seen in Dale County,” Blankenship said. “This amphitheater will be able to be used year round by a wide variety of groups and organizations to include entertainment for Claybank Jamboree, the Crawdad Festival and the inaugural Ozark on Tap.
The Dale County Performing Arts Council is also in the beginning stages of planning a jazz festival that could use the amphitheater stage.
The Dale County Performing Arts Council is a 501 © (3) founded in 2016 to develop and promote the performing arts in Dale County. Since its inception, the council and its partner organizations have raised almost $100,000 used in the refurbishment and maintenance of the Flowers Center for the Performing Arts. The council has also provided scholarship, performance and education opportunities to hundreds of students in Dale County, Blankenship said.
The next meeting of the Dale County Commission is June 25 at the Government Building in Ozark. A work session begins at 10 a.m. and is followed immediately by a voting meeting. Both meetings are open to the public.