Our Most Memorable Performances Are Yours - Support Jefferson Center

A Goal Is a Dream With a Finish Line

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Campaign Accomplishments

$ 4 M I L L I O N


There are hundreds of different kinds of collective experiences that happen every year in our historic building. It’s the Performance Beyond expectations by international artists, local students, the nonprofits that call Jefferson Center home, and meaningful events — small to large — that we are protecting by responsible planning for capital needs. 

Together we ensure stability and longevity not just for the building, but for the dedicated and meaningful work happening inside and throughout our community. 

- Cyrus Pace, Executive Director


In 1975, Jefferson High School, alma mater to more than 19,000 students, was permanently closed. The halls of the historic and beautiful 112,000-square-foot building, once filled with life and hope, would remain dormant and deteriorating for the next eight years. However, in 1985, a foundation of community leaders and Jefferson High School alumni were tasked by the Roanoke City Council to determine the future of the iconic building. After years of research, the citizens committee formed Jefferson Center, a nonprofit foundation established to return transformational experiences to the halls of the historic school. 


In 1985, community leaders set a goal to preserve and revitalize the once lively Jefferson High School — a 1920s-era building — both transforming it into a vibrant community and cultural center and providing a home for regional nonprofits, small businesses and community events. 

Today, more than 20 organizations and community groups such as Apple Ridge Farm, Clean Valley Council, Local Colors and Children’s Trust all call Jefferson Center home. 

Every day, some of life’s most momentous occasions are held at Jefferson Center. With graduations, weddings, and reunions, plus corporate training, health education seminars, and fundraisers, the halls of this historic school are once again renewed with enthusiasm and liveliness. 

Promise one met and exceeded. 


With the opening of Shaftman Performance Hall in 2001, Jefferson Center continues to fulfill its second commitment to this community. The promise of incredible arts experiences rarely found in a city this size was lofty, but with artists such as Emmylou Harris, Arlo Guthrie, Béla Fleck, Wynton Marsalis and Chris Thile, together we again performed beyond all expectations. Additionally, the opportunity to enjoy community performances from local arts organizations, such as the Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir, Opera Roanoke, Roanoke 

Symphony Orchestra, Roanoke Ballet Theatre and many more, cements Jefferson Center as our region’s cultural and community center. 

Promise two met and exceeded. 


Jefferson Center’s third promise, marked by the introduction of the innovative Music Lab, signaled our deepening understanding of how we could serve as a pioneering center for Arts Education. Today, the Music Lab has evolved into multiple on-site programs and broadened its reach through partnerships that extend our services to area schools. Our Youth Enrichment and Arts Education programs include the Music Lab, Jazz Institute, Sisters of the Circle, The Song Project and educational performance opportunities. Last year, over 3,200 students benefited from our on-site and mobile Arts Education Programs, Family Series concerts and Youth Matinees. 80 students logged over 3,700 hours in our on-site Music Lab for self-directed study, coursework, and participation in master classes and workshops held by artists who perform on our stage. Our programs focus on the discipline of teamwork as well as expression, literacy, self-esteem, collaboration and cultural awareness. 

Promise three met and exceeded. 

Building community and connecting people to arts, culture and education has been at the heart of Jefferson Center since 1985. 

Community support is vital to maintain our impactful services and help pave the way to a promising future. 

The Performance Beyond Campaign for Jefferson Center is an ambitious $4 million fundraising initiative designed to build on the promises kept as we continue to perform beyond expectations. Through this effort we will ensure the long-term viability of our services in addition to providing a means to strengthen and enhance imperative community resources. 

We are over halfway to reaching our goal! 

Over $2.7 million has been raised. 

Thank you to all who have already given to Performance Beyond. If possible, we invite you to make an additional gift to the campaign. 

For those who have not yet made a campaign gift, there’s still time to be part of this vital initiative that will ensure Jefferson Center continues to be a lively and vibrant center for community life. 

What the Campaign Does 

The capital portion of the campaign includes goals toward Shaftman Performance Hall, Rehearsal Hall, and Fitzpatrick Hall renewal and equipment upgrades, and building-wide renovations, mechanical replacements and repairs. 

Additional campaign contributions will focus on our Programming and Education services. Goals will include developing internship and mentorship programs, expanding education space, and technology upgrades, as well as audience development initiatives, developing evaluation tools and processes and engaging new and innovative artists. 

Finally, contributions will also be directed toward developing a fund to offset costs associated with future replacements, repairs and improvements with a goal to protect and maintain this beautiful, historic landmark in showcase condition. 

Ways To Give 

Gifts can be made in multiple ways. 

Phone: 540-685-2312 

Mail: Jefferson Center Development Office 

541 Luck Ave., Suite 221 

Roanoke, VA 24016 

Online: jeffcenter.org/support/performance-beyond 

Installment options are available. 

Transformational experiences come in many forms. Create your own with a gift to the $4 million Performance Beyond campaign for Jefferson Center. Together, we can perform beyond all expectations, create the soundtrack of Jefferson Center’s success, and build a sustainable future filled with beauty, art, and unexpected experiences beyond the stage. 

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