Thanks to the local Lowe’s Home Improvement store, a beautifully-restored stage will soon bring plays, music and dance back to Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center.
The previous stage had buckled due to a leaky roof and was unusable. Lowe’s donated $50,000, including merchandise and labor, to replace it with a professional-quality hardwood surface.
“Lincoln Center is a hub of music and theater and activity and there’s a tremendous economic divide” between theatergoers and nearby residents, Goddard Riverside Executive Director Stephan Russo told the West Side Spirit. “So the goal would be able to bring quality arts programs into the center and make them available and accessible.”
Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center primarily serves residents of the Amsterdam Houses and Amsterdam Addition housing projects, just west of Lincoln Center. The neighborhood center recently merged with Goddard Riverside, which is working to expand the programs there.
The stage features indoor seating on one side and outdoor seating on the other, making it possible to host many kinds of events. Future productions could include appearances by local performers and touring groups, as well as by members of the neighborhood center’s programs Ð which serve children, teens and older adults.
The home improvement store tackled the project with enthusiasm, Lincoln Square Executive Director Susan Matloff-Nieves told the West Side Rag.
“Lowe’s said ‘We’re going to do this right,'” she recalled.
The stage consists of oak flooring on top of plywood. It was designed to meet the needs of professional dancers.
“It’s absolutely beautiful,” flooring specialist Kim Smalls of Lowe’s Upper West Side told the Spirit. “We were very happy to make this $50,000 investment in the community.”