The Freeman Stage has become Freeman Arts Pavilion, signaling the next chapter in our evolution, and has adopted a new brand consistent with our vision for the future. Given the success of the pod concept last year, we decided to utilize a phased approach on our new property, given the current public health environment caused by the pandemic. The new site will feature a graded lawn with stunning views.
A Bigger Experience… With The Same Intimate Feel
On Jan. 1, 2021, the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation unveiled the latest chapter in our evolution by adopting a new brand consistent with our vision and commitment to our future as a premier arts organization on the Delmarva Peninsula. The Freeman Stage is now Freeman Arts Pavilion.
Although the new physical structure of the Freeman Arts Pavilion is still several years away, we have established a multi-phase plan that will allow us to expand our seating capacity in 2021, while still maintaining public safety protocols due to the pandemic. The newly purchased parcel of land adjacent to the prior Stage area will provide ample space for roughly 550 seating pods.
Construction of the new pavilion will be done gradually over the coming four to six years, limiting construction to the off-season (October through May). When complete, the new facility (see illustration above) will accommodate 4,000 patrons, with 1,100 under roof, and feature state-of-the-art sound, lighting and video capabilities, an expanded concession and dining area, and artists’ dressing room and production space.
Our vision of becoming a world-class arts organization in this region will reap tremendous benefits for the entire community, and it will continue to serve as an economic driver for the region.
Become Part of the Future with Freeman Arts Pavilion
Show your support for the future of the arts on Delmarva by donating to our capital campaign. Contact Darren Silvis, Development Director (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more.
The first phase of the Freeman Arts Pavilion will debut in 2021. The final proposed facility (pictured above) will have a large, covered stage, with a seating capacity of over 4,000 patrons (with 1,100 seats under roof), a grand lawn, state-of-the-art sound, lighting and video capabilities, an expanded concession and dining area, additional restrooms, and artists' dressing room and production space. Final construction is expected to be completed in four to six years based on scheduling and fundraising goals.
The Freeman Arts Pavilion will provide the same feel and views as the former Freeman Stage venue, with expanded capacity. Over the past 13 years, our shows have grown in both quantity and quality of performances as well as audience demand. Freeman Arts Pavilion will allow our capacity to grow from the pre-pandemic maximum audience of 2,700 patrons to over 4,000 audience members when the final phase of Freeman Arts Pavilion is complete. In 2021, we anticipate an audience capacity of about 2,200 patrons.
The proposed final facility may cost $27 million. The Joshua M. Freeman Foundation has raised about $20 million through grants and donations, and a public phase of a capital campaign is expected to launch this year to raise additional funds.
The Freeman Arts Pavilion has been in the planning stages for several years and the final iteration is described in the questions above. Because of the pandemic, a phased approach to the project was created and implemented, which allows us to accommodate more patrons than our current venue in a safe manner as outlined by state and CDC guidelines.
In 2021, we hope to present similar programming that was featured at The Freeman Stage in previous years — including national recording artists, local artists, tribute bands, performing arts and free family and children’s programming.
It is anticipated that seating will be sold in pods, which can accommodate up to four (4) patrons. Patrons will bring their own chairs to all performances; chairs will not be provided.
In light of the current pandemic, the same safety and sanitation protocols that allowed for the abbreviated 2020 season, are anticipated to be in place. These include making certain that all guests in each pod arrive and enter the venue together. Wearing a face mask while entering and moving throughout the venue will be required at all times, except when seated in your pod.