DOVER, Del. (WBOC)- An effort is under way to breath life back into the Schwartz Center for the Arts in downtown Dover.
The theater kicked off its "rebirth" Thursday evening with a New Orleans-style brass band parade on State Street.
The Grammy Award-winning Rebirth Brass Band led the parade and performed a little later inside the hall itself.
Sydney Arzt is behind the rebirth push. She became executive director of the beautiful 110-year-old theater late last year.
"Gosh, there was something special here, and now we want people to remember how it used to be and how special it will be," she said.
Arzt said that in recent years the quality of the programming at the Schwartz had declined.
"For many reasons, you know, no fault, no blame, just the way it was. And people began, our community began to lose interest," she said. "We are the cultural arts center for central Delaware. We just have to remind people that it is a vibrant and important part of the community."
Arzt says Wesley College and Delaware State University have been supporting the theater's operational expenses. She wants to be less reliant on the schools.
That's something Wesley President Bill Johnston says would be good for everyone concerned.
"I think long term it's going to really benefit Dover, the community and the state to have the Schwartz Center, uh, self-sufficient," he said.Arzt said that starts with having performances people want to see and the Schwartz is big enough to make that possible.
"We can't do Lady Gaga or Billy Joel," she said. "But there is a whole range of people that travel through that we are able to do and will bring here."