North Carolina Black Repertory Company headed to downtown Winston-Salem

During a press conference on Monday, May 14, representatives from the N.C. Black Repertory Company announced they will be moving to this building at 419 Spruce Street in the coming months. Photo by Tevin Stinson

North Carolina Black Repertory Company headed to downtown Winston-Salem
May 17
12:10 2018

The North Carolina Black Repertory Company (the Black Rep) is moving downtown.

After calling 610 Coliseum Drive home for more than 20 years, during a press conference earlier this week representatives for the Black Rep, the states’ first and oldest African-American theatre company, announced the move to 419 Spruce St.

Earlier this year, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem confirmed plans to sell its 2.93 acre property, which houses the Black Rep and the Little Theatre of Winston-Salem. At the time of the announcement, Arts Council officials said the move was part of a restructuring initiative that aims to reduce expenses.

Executive Director Nigel Alston said the move downtown, which is a collaborative effort with The Arts Council, will mark a new beginning for the Black Rep. He said although the old location has been the foundation of the company for years, the move downtown will carry the Black Rep and the National Black Theatre Festival into the future.

“We’re moving out of our home. We’re moving from where it started where the foundation has been laid over a period of time and we’re moving to the center of the Arts District, which is downtown,” continued Alston. “… It’s in a good place in the heart of downtown and we’re very excited about that.”

The building that will carry on the legacy of the theatre company started by the late Larry Leon Hamlin is known as the “419 Building” and is located behind the Stevens Center and across the street from the former GMAC Building.

When discussing the move, president and executive director of The Arts Council Jim Sparrow said its part of the organization taking the necessary steps to grow. He said, “A lot of this is about pieces and foundational blocks in place that allows new growth to happen.

“419 is one of those key pieces that gets more of our core arts institutions downtown in what is emerging as the Arts District,” he continued. “… This is going to be a summer that you will see a lot of changes that will hopefully change the landscape in a good way. That provides lots of opportunity for the arts community for the National Black Theatre Festival, for the North Carolina Black Repertory Company but also the arts community as a whole.”

Sparrow mentioned more information about the move, and other art institutions joining the Black Rep downtown will be made next month.

On Friday, May 18, Black Rep supporters will hold a special gathering to say goodbye to the old building. The celebration is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. and is open to the public.


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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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