The Bellevue Society for the Arts was a concept born out of a needs-assessment survey generated through a grant obtained by the Bellevue Development Council. No. 1 on the list of the needs assessment was an indoor swimming pool. No. 2 on the list was an arts facility. The Society for the Arts began shortly after.
With humble beginnings somewhat similar to that of a traveling theater troupe, the BSA performed its shows at various locations while searching for the right place to put a theater. A few years later, the property housing the former Scagnetti Concrete Mixing plant was donated, plans were drawn and building began.
In 2003 the Hirt Theater was dedicated and major productions began. The lobby of the theater houses a small stage and an open floor area for 20 tables, a buffet line and dance floor and 250 person occupancy, which is used for small performances and dinner theaters, business meetings, wedding receptions, class reunions and graduation parties. Adjacent to the lobby is a full-service kitchen, available for public use during rentals, meetings and special events.
In 2004 the Bellevue Music Center closed, leaving a void in the lives of the community members. Wanting to add to their current programming while filling a need in the town and surrounding community, the BSA enlisted instructors and began offering lessons in guitar, drums, piano, voice, and violin. Five years later, after establishing themselves as a solid Musical Arts Academy, the BSA found itself in need of additional teachers in expanded areas of musical instruction.
In spring, Terra Community College and the BSA partnered in bringing the Terra Music Academy to Bellevue. Lessons are offered in voice, numerous musical instruments, music theory, jazz and pop music theory, songwriting, arranging, ear training, improvisation and conducting basics with other lessons available on request.
In addition, the Terra Music Academy offers workshops, master classes and "Conversations with the Artist" -- a series presented by professional performers, artists and educators in the music, fine arts and performing arts fields.
Always seeking to expand and meet the needs of the community, the BSA Children's Theater began offering theater workshops for children in August. Additional opportunities in arts education are being developed through a collaboration with BGSU Firelands' Caryl Crane Children's Theater and the BSA to offer theater workshops for pre-teens and teenagers. Watch for the first session of CCCT workshops at the Bellevue Society for the Arts to launch in late October.