The Academy Center of the Arts is Greater Lynchburg’s center for arts, culture, and community building. Our mission is to cultivate a healthier and more interconnected populace through cultural infrastructure and community-building arts programs.

Through the Academy, community health and interconnectivity will be cultivated through:

  • Programs that inspire individuals of all ages, unlocking their inherent potential and nurturing social bonds.
  • State-of-the-art facilities and dedicated support staff that elevate other local arts institutions and cultural activities.
  • Activities that engage broad audiences, with special emphasis on addressing limited access to community networks by fostering collaboration and expanding opportunities for personal growth.

The Academy’s Values


We are a community of people from different races, ethnicities, classes, gender identities, sexual orientations, belief systems, and physical/mental abilities. We value the diversity of our community members and strive to serve them through the arts.


We use the arts to empower others by encouraging self-expression, thought, and engagement within a safe space. In its many forms, art broadens our perspectives, provides us with numerous ways to communicate, and enriches our quality of life.


We aspire to be an inclusive organization for all by understanding our role in minimizing the barriers faced by many in our community. We will uplift marginalized individuals through intentional arts programming designed according to their needs.

Our History

The Historic Academy of Music Theatre is one of Lynchburg’s most notable historical treasures. First opened on February 1, 1905, the theatre boasted perfect sightlines and extraordinary acoustics, attracting nationally acclaimed performing artists. After closing its doors in 1958, the theatre had remained unused for 60 years. Through the efforts of the Academy Center of the Arts’ board and staff, as well as the dedicated members of the community, the restorations of the Historic Theatre were brought to completion and the theatre was reopened on December 6, 2018

Learn More


See what we accomplished with our community's support in 2023.
Learn More

Your Local Arts Center

When you come to the Academy you will become a part of a growing and thriving community here in Lynchburg, Virginia. At the center of any great city is great culture. Culture provokes self-expression, thought, and engagement. Whether experiencing a gallery show in one of our art galleries or by enrolling your child in one of our youth theatre programs, you will become a part of a community of people committed to enriching this city along the James River.

We encourage you to explore our website and see our many offerings. Our facility includes a flexible black box theatre with programming year-round, classes in the visual and performing arts, multiple galleries, a pottery studio, and a restored 800 seat Historic Theatre. The Academy has something for all ages and is here for local residents and visitors alike.

The Academy Board of Trustees


Joesph Tucker, President

James W. Wright, Vice President

Alisha Childress, Secretary

Walker Sigler, Treasurer

Board of Trustees

Derrick Brown

Jessica Clarkson

Emily Crowder

Antonio Davis

Beth Doyle

Laura Gateley

Andrea Harris

Maria Hayden

Kevin Hooper

Ula Kauppi

Amy Kowalski

Paul McWane

Alison Morrison-Shetlar

Phyllistine Mosley

Chalmers M. Nunn

Sue Ott Rowlands

Mike Shadler

Tim Smith

Georgeann Snead

Holly B. Trent

Catherine H. Varner

Darlene B. Wallace

James Watkins

George Zippel