Forest City fine arts center opens Monday (with photos)

FOREST CITY | The Boman Fine Arts Center will host a grand opening on Monday.

The center, 225 John K. Hanson Drive, Forest City, will be open to the public at 6:30 p.m. A program of events is scheduled from 7 to 8 p.m., followed by public tours from 8 to 9 p.m.

The performing arts center is a collaboration of Forest City Schools, the city of Forest City and Waldorf University.

Through an extensive fundraising effort and because of community donations, the vision began to materialize in the spring of 2017 with a groundbreaking ceremony.

The center can host weddings, special occasions, theatrical performances, art displays, speaking engagements and regional/national touring groups.

The center includes a 630-seat theater with an orchestra pit, green room, dressing rooms, staging and set production area, full fly area and rigging, along with state of the art electronics, lighting and audio visual equipment.

“With this facility, the (Waldorf) choir, band, and theater will have a space to perform that reflects the history and quality of these ensembles,” Waldorf President Bob Alsop said.

He also said Waldorf hosts “amazing artists and speakers” throughout the academic year in addition to its own performance ensembles.

“I believe the community, who has always been welcomed at the events, will feel more encouraged to participate in these opportunities with this facility,” Alsop said.

Forest City Superintendent Darwin Lehmann said the fine arts center will give students a suitable performance venue to showcase their talents.

He said school concerts that have been held in gyms and cafeterias now can take place in a first-class auditorium.

“What a way to enhance the experience” — not just for the students, but also the parents who come to watch, Lehmann said.

He also said the new facility benefits the entire community, not just K-12 and Waldorf students.

Forest City’s BrickStreet Theatre plans to hold its musical productions at the Boman Center, starting with “A Christmas Carol” in December.

In addition to the auditorium, the complex features a main floor lobby and art gallery with seating for up to 120 people and an overall capacity of 250.

The upper level mezzanine has seating for 200 people with an overall capacity of 325, and features large glass windows with a view of the surrounding community.

The grounds feature a 6,000 square-foot plaza, green space totaling 32,000 square feet, sidewalks and a parking lot.

“We will have a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility for Waldorf, the school and the public to use for years to come,” said City Administrator Barb Smith. “It’s going to be gorgeous.”

For more information about the Boman Fine Arts Center, visit

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