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Davis Performing Arts Center: A Best Kept Secret

Walker Evans Walker Evans
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Tucked away on a quiet strip of Franklin Avenue, the Davis Performing Arts Center may be one of the most well hidden arts venues in the City of Columbus. This quiet tree-lined street sits behind the Topiary Park and offers an almost strangely serene environment for an arts venue that is located within Downtown.

The Center itself is home to two theatre spaces: a 175-seat black box theatre and a 350-seat proscenium arch theatre. These spaces are home to a variety of shows and special events as well as summer classes for children ages 4 through 18.

The Davis was in danger of being closed permanently last year when city budget cuts removed the building’s maintenance from the City’s Recreation and Parks Department. There was quite a bit of outcry here on Columbus Underground, as many locals have grown up with the youth-oriented programming that the venue has provided.

The venue was saved in April as the Phoenix Theatre for Children stepped up to take on a managerial role with the venue along with the assistance of the Columbus Association of Performing Arts (CAPA). Phoenix not only uses the space for their own performances, but also assists in booking the venue with other local theatre and arts groups.

We’re trying to serve the community in new ways by allowing the Performing Arts Center space to be available for rental for many other smaller theater and arts organizations that don’t really have a home yet,” said Joe Bishara, Production Coordinator for Phoenix. “On the Verge Productions, Available Light Theatre, The Senior Repertory of Ohio, Six String Concerts, and Thurber House have all used the space recently.”

More information can be found about The Davis Performing Arts Center at www.davisprograms.com.

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