The Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center may be closed for renovations, but the arts must go on.
Thanks to a partnership between The Friends of the Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center and the Holly Hill Community Redevelopment Agency, a concert by The Groov — a smooth jazz, soul and R&B trio — will be held at the new MetroHealth Stadium in Pictona at Holly Hill at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 19. The concert is also a fundraising event for the Friends of the PAC, which continue to raise money for the ongoing renovation project.
Lucy Jackman, president of the Friends of the Ormond Beach PAC, said she has never seen a partnership like this one.
"In all my years of volunteering for cultural arts, I have mentioned to others, 'We're all after the same folks. We're all after bringing cultural arts to Volusia County. Why aren't we working more closely together?'" Jackman said. "I generally hear, 'That's a pretty good idea,' and then nothing happens. But this time, it happened. It is very unusual."
Jackman has known Rick Hamilton, the director of city events for Holly Hill, for several years. The two were talking over lunch one day and he mentioned the new MetroHealth Stadium at Pictona, located at 1060 Ridgewood Ave. Jackman didn't know the pickeball complex had a cultural arts venue. It opened on in November 2022.
The stadium was partly funded last year by a $2.5 million Volusia County ECHO grant, which provides money for environmental, cultural, historical and outdoor recreational projects thanks to a a voter-approved county initiative.
Hamilton said there are several benefits to partnering with the Friends of the Ormond Beach PAC, one of which is giving patrons of the PAC somewhere to see shows while their facility is being renovated.
"It helps the Pictona project because it brings awareness into the community, and I think it then combines the two then for the third item in broadening cultural arts and entertainment activity in the two communities and it helps them come together," Hamilton said.
Marc Schwartz, supervisor of the PAC, said the partnership was unique, but the common denominator between Pictona and the PAC is that both projects have received ECHO grants. In August 2022, the Volusia County Council approved the award of a $600,000 grant to the PAC.
"Both venues are very grateful for that because obviously, capital investments of this sort in the municipalities in Volusia County is very much appreciated because that type of funding is very difficult for cities to come up with on their own," Schwartz said.
So far, all the entry doors and windows in the PAC have been replaced, and the city is preparing to install new seating in the theater, thanks to a donation by a local developer. The next big phase in the project, Schwartz said, will likely start within the next eight weeks or so and consist of demolishing much of the existing lobby and gallery area.
Jackman has been working to bring the PAC renovation to fruition for the past five years. It's a long time to persevere, she said.
"We can't wait to see what it's actually going to look like," she said.
It's a time consuming process, said, but the end result will wow the community.
"It's going to be an absolutely grand and beautiful building that everyone is going to want to come and visit," Schwartz said.
In the meantime, the public can enjoy the Groov at MetroHealth Stadium.
"No one in this area has had an opportunity before this concert to really see and hear them, and I know that the buzz that's going to develop out of their performance at MetroHealth Stadium is going to lead to many more performances for them in this area," Schwartz said.