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. We believe that our programming is essential for a thriving community, as it can lead to improved grades for students, increased memory retention rates for seniors, and a decreased poverty rate.

Each year, the Academy engages tens of thousands of Central Virginians through stage events, arts education, facilities rentals, outreach, and galleries exhibits, which result in a significant economic impact on the Greater Lynchburg area.

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

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See what we accomplished with our community's support in 2022.
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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


Elizabeth Stroud



Joseph Tucker

Vice President


Walker Sigler



Ula Kauppi


Board of Trustees
Alisha Childress
Jessica Clarkson
Sam Coleman
Emily Crowder
Antonio Davis
Beth Doyle
Donna Gaddy-Bowen
Dr. Laura Gateley
Maria Hayden
Kevin Hooper
D. Todd Irby
Amy Kowalski
Richard Loving
Paul McWane
Alison Morrison-Shetlar
Phyllistine Mosley
Dr. Chalmers M. Nunn
Ethel Reeves
Mike Shadler
Ron Shoultz
Georgeann Snead
Holly Trent
Catherine Varner
James Watkins
Jim Wright