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MEMORIES - WILDEY ARTS CENTER

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A benefit piano recital by Ruth Slenczynska helped raise money for the Wildey Arts Center initiative in 1985.  Photo by Steve Brown.

Photo by Lance Mallon.

Shortly after the Wildey closed in March 1984, a group of energetic friends of the arts came up with the idea with using the Wildey as an arts center for Madison County.  The group had four months to raise $50,000 in cash and pledges, which they did, and in November 1984, the Madison County Arts Council began the process to purchase the building for $150,000.  A Canadian businessman donated a Wurlitzer theater organ to the project and Plitt Theatres Inc, which had leased the Wildey building as a movie theater, donated the theater’s 700 seats, projection equipment, screen and air-conditioning equipment. 

The Wildey Arts Center had gathered a group of dedicated volunteers.  Unfortunately, the project ultimately failed when the State ran short on funds and no grant money would be available for the foreseeable future.

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