While the next step in the Embassy Cultural Center Foundation’s quest to conduct an economic impact study of the McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center on Henderson and the surrounding area is likely a formality, what is needed now is a contract with N.C. State University’s Department of Public Administration and its respective professors.
WIZS News conversations with Vance County Commission Chair Tommy Hester, who seems to have been the visible spearhead of this particular effort, reveal that the $17,500 to fund the study has been obtained by private, anonymous donation(s).
According to NC State representatives, the completion time for the study is estimated at four months, with the project to begin on January 7, 2019, and the final report to be submitted by May 6, 2019. Dr. Bruce McDonald and Tom White from NC State came to Henderson October 8, 2018, to discuss McGregor Hall and its impact, to learn more about the facility and to spur still more progression in the team of people, volunteers and the community at large that is supporting the facility.
The recent local production of “Beauty and the Beast” has resulted in additional widespread publicity for McGregor Hall for a number of reasons. The collective local and regional talent in the show and the sheer volume of people who attended the six public performances as well as additional school performances and side events exceeded 6,500 patrons.
Mark Hopper, Vice Chair of the Board for the Embassy Cultural Center Foundation and McGregor Hall, directed the play and directed the full orchestra as well. In a recent conversation with WIZS’ John C. Rose, Hopper said, “We are a community and economic organization first and foremost, and it’s exciting that citizens are starting to share our vision for what we can accomplish. Next spring, we have 11 weekends booked for regional and national dance competitions. That means that 700-900 people will arrive on Friday afternoon and stay through Sunday afternoon, with all of them eating in Vance County restaurants, lodging in Vance County motels, and putting Henderson on the map. It’s a very exciting time for McGregor Hall.”