Center in the Square

Cause Area

  • Arts & Culture
  • Children & Youth
  • Community
  • Education & Literacy
  • Environment



Organization Information

Mission Statement

Center’s purpose is to increase economic development, tourism, and excellence in education by supporting arts and culture. Center in the Square’s mission statement reads: To be an active participant in economic and downtown urban development by helping assure the financial health of vital elements of Western and Central Virginia’s cultural quality of life.


Organization Description

Center in the Square owns and operates four downtownRoanokeproperties: Center in the Square, Center on Church, the former Shenandoah Hotel, and the former downtown Norfolk & Western Railway Passenger Station. Our adaptive reuse and preservation of abandoned historic buildings has garnered numerous local, national, and international awards.

Center in the Square’s organizational profile is innovative and has been replicated in other communities across the nation. Center itself does not offer programs, display exhibits, or hold performances. What Center in the Square does provide are the utilities, maintenance, custodial services, security, support

services, and every square foot of space our organizations occupy - absolutely free of charge. Each year, Center provides more than $2.9 million in support to our beneficiary organizations. These services represent approximately 30% of our organizations’ operating budgets. Instead of allocating fundraising for rent, building capital and facilities, our organizations are able to devote their time and talents to what they do best - providing the highest quality programs, exhibits, and performances available.


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