History

History

Nestled in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains lies a rare,historic treasure! Lewisburg, West Virginia is home to one of only four Carnegie Halls still in continuous use in the world. Music has been heard through the halls of this stately Georgian Revival structure for nearly a century. Carnegie Hall was built in 1902 by steel baron and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie as a classroom building for the Lewisburg Female Institute, later the Greenbrier College for Women. 


Carnegie Hall was incorporated in 1983 as a regional not-for-profit arts and education center. Today, the cultural center annually serves more than 75,000 patrons with live performances by outstanding companies and artists from around the world, award-winning arts in education programming, classes and workshops, fine art exhibits, an independent film series and more! 

To learn a more in-depth history of the Hall, click here to view our Wikipedia article

Carnegie Hall is part of the West Virginia Historic Theater Trail. Click here for more info on the WV Historic Theater Trail


Milestones

Since its formation in 1983, Carnegie Hall has made great strides forward. Among the most notable achievements:

1983
Incorporated as nonprofit cultural and educational center

1984
Charles Goddard, first paid staff member, hired as General Manager

1991
Wynton Marsalis performs

Isaac Stern performs

Received Underserved Communities Grant through the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts. Community Cultural Assessment process begins.

1993
Received National Endowment for the Arts Design Arts Award ($10,000) to support creation of drawings for comprehensive master plan and planning materials.

Kids' College begins - an arts and humanities enrichment program for children featuring regional artists and educators leading workshops.

1994
Received National Trust for Historic Preservation - Preservation Services Fund (PSF) Grant ($1,200) for printed material regarding renovation of the Hall.

Received National Endowment for the Arts Local Arts Agencies Challenge Grant ($75,000) to generate matching funds for the renovation of Carnegie Hall.

1997
With Greenbrier County Board of Education, elected as one of only ten partnerships across America for inclusion in The Kennedy Center Performing Arts Centers and Schools: Partners in Education Program.

1998
Received Spirit of West Virginia Award at the Governor's Conference on Tourism.

2000
Received national Lila Wallace/Arts Partners Grant to develop stronger ties between the arts and faith communities.

Received major Education First Grant ($147,000) to create and execute a three-day TeachSmART professional development institute for 150 teachers in RESA IV school district.

Recognized as Most Outstanding Cultural Organization in West Virginia at the Governor's Awards for Excellence in Culture, History and the Arts.

Received two Crystal Awards from the West Virginia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for excellence in Public Relations and Marketing materials.

2001
Carnegie Hall was selected as a pilot site for Communities LinkUP!, a music education and distance learning curriculum through The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall NY.

2004
Became an AmeriCorps VISTA site.

2005
The Carnegie Hall Foundation, Inc. was established to create an endowment for Carnegie Hall, Inc. that will ensure the ongoing operation of this extraordinary regional arts and education center.

Selected for the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation 2005-2006 Jazz Touring Network class. Carnegie Hall will attend a total of six training sessions over a three-year period on topics that will help build an infrastructure for jazz programming in the community.

Capital Grant project to make the front entrance ADA compliant. This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

2006
Recipient of the Dana Foundation Rural Initiative Grant, which funds training for in-school specialists and professional artists who teach in the schools.