In the weeks and months to come, there will be a variety of movies and programming at the historic Ashland Theater. The Town of Ashland now owns the theater, as a result of it generously being donated by Jean and A.D. Whittaker, and plans are afoot to restore this beautiful theater. While those plans are taking shape, a local group of volunteers are running the theater and helping create some energy and support for this important project.




unnamedDocumentary and Panel Discussion on Poverty in Ashland

Circles Ashland will host a documentary film presentation and panel discussion about poverty in our community on Friday, September 23 at 6:30 p.m. at The Ashland Theater. The event will feature the Frontline documentary “Poor Kids.” A panel discussion will follow moderated by Circles Ashland Executive Directory, David Cooper. Panelist will be:

* Thad Williamson—Author of Making a Place for Community, formerly Director of the Richmond Wealth Building (anti-poverty) Initiative, and University of Richmond Professor

* Dr. Sarah Cribbs, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Randolph Macon College

* Jay Brown, Director, Division of Housing Services, Commonwealth Catholic Charities

* Rev. Ben Campbell, Author of Richmond’ Unhealed History, former Pastoral Director of Richmond Hill

* An Ashland Circle Leader who just completed training in the program

The one hour documentary will be shown from 6:30—7:30 p.m. with the panel discussion following from 7:45—8:30 p.m. Circles Ashland is a unique effort to address poverty in ways that are sustainable, long-term, and empowering for those in poverty, enabling them to take responsibility for their own success. Adults in the program receive training and support to become Circle Leaders who will guide their families out of poverty. The program is multi-generational as there is a child/youth program that occurs simultaneously during the adult program. While the program is new to the Ashland community, it has a proven track record nationally. Circles Leaders have earned an average of 37% more income after 6 months with the program, 50% more after one year, and 62% more after 18 months. To learn more about Circles Ashland, attend the film and panel discussion or visit circlesashland-va.org

Celebration for Charles Hartgrove!

1450238_10202492207687328_369712891_nAfter thirteen years of service to the Town of Ashland and many friendships forged during this time, Mr. Hartgrove is stepping down as the Ashland Town Manager to become the next Deputy City Manager of the City of Lynchburg, Virginia. We are having a Community Celebration on Thursday, October 20 at the Ashland Theatre to send off our fine Town Manager in style.  Come celebrate with us – fun, fellowship, and music will abound!


Doors will open at 6:30 pm, and the program will start about 7:15 pm.

This event has been postponed – Ashland Open Door Presents “PraiseFest!”

This event has been postponed – please learn more about the good works of Ashland Open Door…

Ashland Open Door’s current goal is to help families with children who were previously living in motels find sustainable housing. According to Ashland Open Door’s family services coordinator Taylor Garrett, she currently actively works with 12 families who were displaced after the motel ordinance took effect July 1.


Ashland Gospel Music Festival!

jpeggospelOn Saturday, October l, 2016, from 3 – 5 p.m., The Ashland Theater will rock and roll with some of the best gospel singers in Virginia who will perform in a GOSPEL MUSIC FESTIVAL. Created to celebrate the rich heritage of Gospel music and honor the award-winning group, “The Soul Seekers” whose ministry has been widely praised for their work with the American Cancer Society and the African American Men’s Health Forum, THE GOSPEL MUSIC FESTIVAL will include:

The Soul Seekers,” an all-male group who began their career in Music Ministry over 40 years ago and have traveled across the country, been part of a “Gospel Greats” TV One special, and perform every fifth week at The First Union Baptist Church in Mechanicsville.

The Ujima Gospel Choir” of Randolph-Macon College is a student-led organization established in 2007. It performs throughout the academic year in churches, at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. program at R-MC, as well as hosts a Fall and Spring concert on campus.

The Community Gospel Choir” under the direction of Lenora Davis, has performed in the Ashland Variety Show, the Strawberry Faire, numerous Black History programs and other community functions. Soloist, Patrick Warren will perform.

Tribute”, a Richmond-based Gospel group formed 15 years , under the direction of Ms. Michelle Lightfoot, has taken their singing ministry across Virginia and opened for “Gospel greats” like Richard Smallwood, Crystal Aikens, and Smokie Norful.

Resound,” is a Richmond-based, internationally-acclaimed a cappella singing trio whose intricate and impressive harmonies have gained the attention of “Good Morning America,” Donnie McClurkin – and millions of viewers of their You Tube video, “Disney Medley.”

The Diamond Sisters,” Wendy, Wanda and Kimberly Fox, whose Juneteenth skits this summer at Blackwell Auditorium brought down the house. This time they will show their skills as singers, accompanied by pianist, Brett Cyprus.

Admission: $5.  Proceeds will be divided equally between The American Cancer Society and The Ashland Theater Foundation.


Posters to benefit the Ashland Theater

12919926_1155288681156981_6660352584731759548_nMany thanks to Duane Berger for allowing us to use his photograph to benefit the Ashland Theater!    By purchasing this poster you are giving a gift to the historic Ashland Theater.   Posters are available for purchase in the lobby at all of our events – Cost: $15.  You can order a poster – simply email cotutheater@gmail.com.