The Arts Council of the Valley (ACV) champions diverse artistic expression and promotes the arts as fundamental to a vibrant community. ACV provides memorable arts experiences for individuals in the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County through our visual, literary, and performing arts programs, educational opportunities, and grants.
Hours of Operation
The Arts Council of the Valley’s Administrative Offices & Darrin-McHone Gallery: Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. Arts Council of the Valley’s Court Square Theater opens 45 minutes prior to event start time. Please visit the Court Square Theater page for specific event times. We are closed New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Arts Council of the Valley Administrative Offices & Darrin McHone Gallery are located at: The Smith House, 311 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801. Court Square Theater is located at: 41-F Court Square, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801.
Arts Council of the Valley Offices: 540.801.8779 | Court Square Theater Office: 540.433.9189
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Admission to ACV’s Darrin-McHone Gallery is always free. Ticket prices for performances at Court Square Theater vary.
The public is always welcome and encouraged to visit exhibitions featured at the Darrin-McHone Gallery between 9am-5pm., Monday-Friday. However, we ask that student or special interest groups of 15 or more people contact us for advance reservations. Please call 540.801.8779 to plan your group’s visit. For large groups planning to attend a theater event, please call our theater line at 540.433.9189.
Our administrative offices and gallery located at our historic Smith House offers a low-grade ramp for access to the front door. The Darrin-McHone Gallery, business offices, and restroom, which are located on the first floor of the Smith House, are accessible to persons with disabilities. Court Square Theater is fully wheelchair accessible and has a viewing area for patrons in wheelchairs.
Michael Weaver, Court Square Theater Manager
Board of Directors
The Arts Council of the Valley was founded in 2000 by a group of local citizens who had a dream of bolstering the arts within the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County communities. The founding group of members conducted their small initial meetings on the stage at the Court Square Theater. The Arts Council members were charged with managing the theater as its performing arts branch and creating innovative partnerships in the arts amongst area civic organizations, businesses, schools, and certainly, artists.
Court Square Theater was once home to the Rockingham Motor Company (RMC), but in,1998, it was renovated into a theater as part of the Harrisonburg downtown revitalization effort. The architects that renovated the space wanted to retain some of the historic charm and you can still find RMC’s name and iconic shields on the exterior and the interior of the building today.
2005: In an effort to save a historic home known as “The Smith House” (ca. 1867) from demolition, the Daily News-Record gifts the house to the Arts Council of the Valley. The Arts Council’s Board of Directors and community leaders quickly rally to support an ambitious capital campaign to move the house from Liberty Street to Main Street and renovate its interior.
2006: The renovated Smith House opens its doors at 311 S. Main to house the administrative offices for the Arts Council and its Court Square Theater staff.
2007: With the support of local business owner, James McHone, ACV is able to make final renovations to Smith House, resulting in the Darrin-McHone Fine Art Gallery. This gallery allows the organization to display monthly exhibitions focused on local artists.
Today the Arts Council has grown into a multi-faceted community resource that offers Advancing the Arts grants to artists and art educators, coordinates Harrisonburg’s First Fridays events, produces the Art in the Park program for families, runs a creative theater space for performing arts, and houses monthly exhibitions in its Darrin-McHone Gallery. As a community resource, the Arts Council Staff and Board welcome feedback and your ideas for programming and partnership. Please feel free to call or email with ways that we can better support you and the arts in our community!