Woodward Arts Complex

The Woodward Arts Complex contains over 26,865 square feet of leasable space. It is expected that the rental income from these spaces will be enough to maintain the Woodward building and its operations in perpetuity.

The Woodward Opera House Theater

The Woodward Opera House Theater and Arts Complex features a fully operational and fully equipped 500 seat theater, two recital and multipurpose rooms of 1000 sf each, and all of the necessary theater equipment, dressing rooms, and theater operations space necessary for a first class arts operation. Conference, meeting, and banquet room space are a natural result of the construction of the facility, all available for the full utilization in the community.

The Arts Center for Knox County

The overall arts operations of the facility are managed by Knox Partnership for Arts & Culture (KPAC). The offices for KPAC are located in the non-profit office center on the second floor of the Woodward Annex building. The KPAC Board of Trustees will be responsible for scheduling all of the resident arts groups in the various parts of the facility, establishing and initiating a complete and an exciting arts programming experience for the community, and planning for the long term arts development for the county.

Non-Profit Office Center

A portion of the second floor is being reserved as a space for not-for-profit (nfp) entities to cluster and share expenses. This will not only be a financial benefit to the nfps, but will also bring the groups together to correlate their collective efforts in the social and economic development of Mount Vernon and Knox County.

A Place to Enhance the Education of our Children

The facility will host numerous educational programs and events aimed at edifying and educating the school age youth in our community. The primary thrust of these events will be managed by the KPAC, in cooperation with all of the area schools and arts organizations.

The Vernon P Johnson Art Gallery

The 4th floor Promenade is now known as the Vernon P. Johnson Art Gallery and features arts works from the artist. Johnson was an accomplished watercolor artist who studied under influential artists of the popular “Cleveland School” in the late 1930s and after serving in World War II, became a graphic design innovator in the burgeoning consumer packaging industry. He had a particular vision for small town America, which he illustrated in his paintings of Knox County.

Destination for Tours in History, Arts, and Culture

The Woodward Opera House is America’s oldest authentic 19th century theater. It is the Historic Epicenter of Mount Vernon and Knox County, a place where all historic tours may begin for the community. There is only one other theater in the United States that is older, the Walnut Theater in Philadelphia. However, nothing original remains on the interior of the Walnut Theater. This makes the Woodward one of the most historic theaters in the country, and the most “authentic” of its kind. It has already become a destination in its own right.

Arts Endowment

The preservation of the Woodward building and the accompanying theater will be a social and economic benefit to the community. In addition, both the Woodward Development Corporation (the facility owner) and Knox Partnership for Arts & Culture are both not-for-profit foundations [IRS designation 501 (c)(3)]. As the project reaches maturity, any funds not needed for the operation, maintenance, and preservation of the facility will be used for the promotion and development of the art in Mount Vernon and Knox County. This combination creates a physical and cultural endowment to assure the preservation not only of the Woodward, but the arts in our community.