The Farris Arts District Project will completely renovate the two buildings adjacent to the Farris Theatre on South Camden Street that were originally purchased in July 2002 and July 2003 by the Friends of the Farris, Inc. for the sole purpose of protecting the community's investment in the Farris Theatre renovation.
The Farris Theatre is a vital center of the community and will expand that role with the renovation of the adjacent properties to increase participation in the fine arts and performing arts in the area.
The newly formed Farris Arts District will consist of three buildings:the Farris Theatre, the Hall for Arts Education, and the Gallery and Museum for Fine Arts.As currently planned, the Hall for Arts Education will contain rooms for rehearsals, a Scenery Shop, Costume and Prop storage, and classroom space.According to early designs, the Gallery and Museum for Fine Arts will consist of offices, a community room, an Art Gallery, a museum, room for pre- and post-performance events, residency study programs, and a renovated area for the building's current tenant, a local support group.
The Farris Arts District will foster and perpetuate the arts in Richmond and Ray County while revitalizing two distraught downtown Richmond buildings. The ambitious project is much like the Farris renovation will require hundreds of thousands of dollars supported by hundreds of willing advocates and volunteers.
In a day when many Richmond buildings are coming down the board members of Friends of the Farris, Inc. feel it is better to restore the buildings and preserve history. The buildings have been surveyed by an architect and structural engineer who have confirmed the viability of the planned restoration. The early twentieth century buildings were originally built as The Knights of Pyhtias and Fraternal Order of Eagles buildings, respectively. The Friends of the Farris would like to know more about the history of the buildings and request that anyone with information contact the organization via email. The Friends of the Farris, Inc. board officially approved the creation of the Farris Arts District on April 9, 2007.