New performing arts center planned for old Seneca Falls church

One of the community’s oldest church buildings will go from sermons to singing, if Steve Beals, Becky Bly and others have their way.

A group of arts lovers have banded together to acquire the former Women’s Interfaith Institute of the Finger Lakes at 140 Fall St. with plans to make it the home of a new Seneca Falls Performing Arts Center. The building housed the Congregational Church before becoming the Institute.

A group called Seneca Falls Performing Arts Center has been formed as an affiliate of Seneca Community Players, a not-for-profit amateur theatrical organization. It is headed by Beals, with Bly as vice president, Robert McDonald as treasurer and Debbie Bly as secretary. They have a one-year commitment contract allowing the group to buy the property from Dr. Allison Stokes, founder of the Institute, for $1 after a year if certain conditions are met. If not, they can give it back to her.

“It’s a very ambitious undertaking,” acknowledged Beals. “But we think it can happen. We’re optimistic.”

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