Chandler Center For The Arts

71-73 Main Street
Randolph, VT 05060

Mission Statement:
Afford opportunity to the community-at-large for artistic expression and educational pursuit by sponsoring and producing programs in the creative and performing arts in and for Chandler Music Hall.

Encourage and assist charitable, non-profit organizations in their pursuit of cultural and artistic expression and, where desired, provide a home for such organizations.

Promote and assist, when possible, the opportunity for meaningful cultural experiences for students in the community.

Assure Chandler Music Hall is maintained and preserved as a cultural center for the residents of Randolph and the surrounding communities and for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.

Legend has it that the idea of a music hall for the Village of Randolph had its origin around the turn of the century in a conversation between Albert B. Chandler and R.J. Kimball, long-time summer residents of Randolph. Apparently they agreed the rapidly growing village needed a library and a hall suitable for lectures, concerts and meetings. They agreed that Mr. Kimball would undertake the building of the library and Mr. Chandler would fund the building of a music hall.

Ernest Boyden, a friend and architect known for the design of many of the homes on Beacon Hill in Boston was retained to design the new building and decide which building was to be torn down. Bethany United Church of Christ was formed by the merger of the two congregations in the church on the west side of Main Street. Chandler Music Hall opened, complete with private boxes labeled "C" and "K" for Chandler and Kimball, on August 20, 1907. The final cost of the music hall was $25,000.

For about twenty five years, Chandler Music Hall was a busy place under the management of Edgar Salisbury. Plays, concerts, lectures, silent films, political meetings and school events made it a cultural treasure for the town. The 1927 flood, the stock market crash, the Great Depression, World War II and television combined to turn it into a chamber of memories.

After World War II, the trustees of the church decided that the hall had become a white elephant and offered it to the Town of Randolph. After considerable debate, a motion to accept the offer narrowly passed for the purchase price of $1.00. The hall continued to stand empty until 1972 when a handful of individuals recognized the value of the deteriorating complex and began to revitalize interest and raise funds for its restoration.

Today Chandler Music Hall and Cultural Center is owned by the Town of Randolph, and until 2002, was governed and operated by a town-appointed Board of Trustees, while the programming was overseen by the Chandler Cultural Foundation. In February 2002, the organizational structure was reworked and the two boards voted to merge into one organization, the Chandler Center for the Arts, and a long-term renewable lease was approved by the Selectboard.
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