A bigger experience … with the same intimate feel.
The Joshua M. Freeman Foundation has created a concept for a new venue, Freeman Arts Pavilion. This will be a larger venue than the current Freeman Stage with the same purpose of, “creating opportunities that elevate the human spirit.”
Why has The Freeman Stage changed its name?
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.
Where is Freeman Arts Pavilion located?
The new site is located adjacent to the former Freeman Stage lawn, which is situated where the former Bayside Resort Golf Club Pro Shop and The Cove Restaurant existed.
What is the capacity of the new venue?
The seating capacity in 2021, though still being finalized, can accommodate over 2,000 patrons with the current physical distancing guidelines in place.
When is the Freeman Arts Pavilion going to open?
The first phase of the Freeman Arts Pavilion will debut in 2021. The final proposed facility 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.
How will the new facility compare to the current venue?
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 2,000 patrons.
How much will the project cost?
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.
Did the pandemic shift the foundation’s plan for this project?
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.
What type of performances will be offered in 2021?
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.
How will seating work in 2021?
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
What safety measures will be in places in 2021?
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.
Will concessions be available?
Yes, food and beverages will be available for purchase from our Café, and we anticipate welcoming local food trucks on-site as well.
What are you going to do with the current Freeman Stage land?
Some of this land will be included as part of the Freeman Arts Pavilion. In 2021, we anticipate it being possibly used as a gathering location for our patrons as concessions will still be offered at the Café.