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Santa Cruz theater transformed into a regional arts center

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SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION) The 418 Project unveils a new project to transform the Riverfront Theater into a regional arts center for downtown Santa Cruz.

Their new 12,000 square-foot space will bring 160,000+ people to downtown every year and will support 2,000+ artists.

Dandha De Hora has been a teacher at The 418 Project for almost 15 years. For her, she says it was her first home at Santa Cruz where they embraced her and her Afro-Brazilian culture and dance.

"As an Afro-Brazilian dance teacher, I think this is the place that saved me in the first place as a first home and allows me to be able to teach and share the culture of Brazil. 418 is the place where they embraced me and allowed me to be connected to the whole community of Santa Cruz,“ says Hora.

The executive director of The 418 project, Laura Bishop, says that things have been tough at the center due to the pandemic, but she says she's looking on the bright side with much more to offer the community.

"Without the pandemic, this would have never happened. In the new location. we're going to be able to encompass much more in the way of movement arts and offerings," says Bishop.

For ling-time volunteer and DJ at The 418 Project. the center means everything to him.

"It means the center of my heart, the center of the community," says Owlswan Free Eagle.

Renovations will be taking place at the Riverfront Theater but the arts center intends have some classes resume in the main lobby of the theater.

Santa Cruz County / Top Stories
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Stephanie Aceves

Stephanie Aceves is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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