After a half century as a high school auditorium, sitting dormant and neglected for 20 more years, renovations to Shaftman Performance Hall began in 1997 to accommodate world class artists and unforgettable performances. In 2001, Jefferson Center’s Shaftman Performance Hall opened for its first concert and 10 years later the beautiful hall continues to shine as Southwest Virginia’s premiere venue.
From world renowned musicians to awe inspiring teenage performers, Shaftman Performance Hall has seen it all. However, as of late the hall has not only taken in world class artists, it has also taken on a great deal of rain water.
“Repairing the roof is our number one concern at Jefferson Center,” said Cyrus Pace, Jefferson Center Executive Director. “For Jefferson Center to continue to bring incredible performances to the valley, as well as maintain our arts education programs, provide rental facilities for community events and ensure that our tenant space for the 20 other non-profit organizations housed inside the building have a place to call home, we need to repair this roof and repair it soon.”
On September 16th, 10-time Grammy Award winner and guitar legend George Benson will play a large role in the roof repair effort with yet another unforgettable performance. Tickets to see the jazz great will both serve and celebrate Shaftman Performance Hall.
“With the May 2001 opening of Shaftman Performance Hall, Jefferson Center became the significant cultural asset envisioned by many to create something special from the once abandoned, yet historically important, Jefferson High School,” says Pace. “It’s incredible to look at the before and after photos and see just how far we have come and we are thrilled to have George Benson help us celebrate and help us preserve this great hall.”
After more than 70 years of existence, Shaftman Performance Hall laid in near ruins in the late 90’s. In 2001 with the support of the City of Roanoke as well as gifts from generous individuals and families, Jefferson High School alumni, Roanoke Valley businesses, and private foundations throughout the Commonwealth the performance hall was born again into what you see today.
It has been an incredible journey for Shaftman Hall,” says Pace. “And that’s why we wanted to celebrate, as well as garner support to help us maintain this beautiful hall. The celebration on the 16th could secure the remaining funds needed to repair the roof and ensure that Shaftman Performance Hall remains this region’s premiere performance venue.”