The Stissing Center Welcomes You

Photo of The Stissing Center by Photographer Paul Clemence.

Our Mission:
Impact. Partner. Create.

The Stissing Center seeks to positively impact our community by partnering with artists, individuals, and organizations to create meaningful programs, events, and opportunities. As a center for diversity, culture, and civic life in a small town, The Stissing Center aims to support local economic revitalization and job creation in Pine Plains and the surrounding Hudson Valley region.

We are Building for Community. The Stissing Center is bringing new audiences and old friends to Pine Plains to stay in our inns and B&Bs, dine in our restaurants, support our local farms, shop in our stores, celebrate our natural environment, and love our town. All of this activity provides opportunities for the growth of new locally-owned businesses and jobs. It’s music and the arts and drama and film that can make this happen. It’s by collaborating with other local non-profits and service organizations to provide community programming and educational workshops that our region grows and thrives.

The Stissing Center has brought an abandoned 1915 brick building back to life, giving it a beautiful “rustic chic” main performance space, glass entry way, flexible floor plans, and rebuilt proscenium stage. With a lot of donor support, the lower level will be transformed into The Cellar at the Center, a smaller second performance and meeting space. Picture a speakeasy vibe with the sounds of a jazz sax and a glass of wine. We will be able to host more intimate gatherings, meetings, and films, and private and community events. The lower level will also be home to a kitchen.

The Stissing Center opened the doors in 2019 with a Construction Concert Series, featuring a benefit concert with Benjamin Hochman at TSCWynton Marsalis, and a Grand Opening Community “Surprise Party.” Covid forced our venue’s doors to close in mid-March 2020. The Stissing Center changed course for the next 16 months and produced only virtual programming, including The Chair Series®, LIVE! from The Stissing Center! (chamber music series), and the Stissing Summer Variety Show.

Virtual performances continued well into 2021; they are available on this site and TSC’s  YouTube channel. At last, in the summer of 2021, TSC was able to enthusiastically announce the “Reopening The Doors” Fall Concert Series and our second annual (and now in-person) chamber music series.

Misty Blues at The Stissing Center

2022 is here and we are thrilled to welcome many new performers and “old favorites” back to The Main Stage at the Center for our first-ever full year of programming. Jim Kweskin and Happy Traum performed in April and Bruce Molsky returns in June—and he’ll be playing guitar! The music of Pedro Giraudo Tango Quartet illustrated with sound just how pleasing the acoustics are. Kazemde George and his quintet and the Daniel Bennett Group are coming soon. The Lucky 5 and Sweet Megg return for encore performances, and Misty Blues just did so. There are many others! Visit our events page to see our expanding list of shows and get your tickets.

Local Produce Readers’ Theatre‘s monthly play readings continue, featuring local playwrights and/or actors and/or local subjects of interest. The 2021-2022 series runs thru June 2022, and a 2022-2023 series is in the works. Tickets are $5 apiece, or get a series pass for $35.

And, Chamber Music at The Stissing Center! returns with a robust season three, expanding our roster of artists and program variety. Introducing a new Keyboard Series, we have invited several piano virtuosos to curate their own recitals and present their unique visions as modern artists. New forms of events such as a multimedia concert, a lecture and recital combination, and a “Four Hands Two Pianos” extravaganza are part of our most exciting season yet. Tickets are $10 for students, $25 for adults, and a series pass for the remaining 2022 recitals is $120.

The Stissing Center is truly Your Stage Next Door ®. There’s something for everyone. We are ADA accessible with a lift with easy access to street level and upper/lower levels, and an ADA/family restroom. Baby changing stations are available in all restrooms.

SUPPORT THE STISSING CENTER

We can’t do any of this without support of music and drama lovers and community supporters like you. Like all non-profits, we need to constantly raise the funding to keep our organization running, and to complete important renovations and plan future construction. Of course your support also helps pay for talent, growing staff, utilities, marketing, maintenance, and everything else that happens behind the scenes.

You can add your name to our growing number of supporters by clicking HERE to give.

If you are interested in making a monthly or annual pledge, or in becoming a major benefactor, please contact our Director of Development, Misha Donner or our Executive Director, Brian Keeler. We’d be delighted to take you on the grand tour. There’s nothing like being in the building to really see what we can achieve together.

Our next project is The Cellar at the Center, which we introduced above. But the largest project we are facing calls for a completely new rear extension to house our main HVAC system, elevator, dressing rooms, and additional restrooms, and provide a new entrance to the building from our parking lot. Once built, we’ll have the egress we need to complete our currently-empty top floor, where we’ll create a gallery, space for local artists, and workshops, and for other non-profits to base their local operations to deliver much needed services to our communities.

Thank you to our many volunteers! You and your dedication and energy and ambassadorship are so very much appreciated! Thank you!

With the support of our generous donors, sponsors, foundations, grantors, patrons, and YOU, The Stissing Center will be able to achieve its goals of local economic revitalization and job creation, all in service of the people of Pine Plains, Dutchess, Columbia, and Ulster counties, and the entire Hudson Valley region.

THANK YOU!


A Brief History of our Venue

Memorial Hall, the original name of our building, was constructed in 1915 and given to the Town of Pine Plains in memory of John McIntyre, his wife Elizabeth Hauver and their children, by their philanthropic granddaughter, Mary Ellen Lapham Saunders who grew up in Pine Plains with her grandparents. For the better part of the 20th century, Pine Plains was defined by the cultural events and happenings at Memorial Hall.

The majestic brick building on Church Street stood tall and proud as a symbol of the town’s important place in the region. According to the original certificate of incorporation, Memorial Hall was, among its many uses…

“…to be used for the purpose of lodge meetings, lectures, concerts, banquets, fairs, celebrations, play, entertainments” and “public and private meetings of any kind permitted by law, and for public libraries, reading rooms, gymnasiums and for the filing and storing and keeping of the records and papers and property of the Town of Pine Plains…and for any purposed deemed beneficial for the public.”

It was well used for dances and clambakes, movies, concerts, minstrel shows, theatre, square dances, and even periodically to send soldiers off to war and to receive them home after their service. In 1935 it was remodeled and reopened as “The Pine Plains Theatre”, where it became a first-run movie house showing Hollywood films until the early 1960’s. Sold again in the 1970’s and subdivided for use by a coffee shop, hair salon, laundromat, and offices, the hall again fell into disuse and disrepair in the 1990’s.

More than a century after its construction, and in order to save the building from demolition, Memorial Hall was purchased in 2014 at auction by a group of three local supporters. Their goal was for it to be restored and returned it to its original purpose, as the hub of the regional community and a beacon of cultural vibrance and civic pride. It was donated in 2015 to the recently established Pine Plains Memorial Hall, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. In May 2019, the building was renamed The Stissing Center.

PLEASE DONATE TO TSC

The Stissing Center Team

Brian Keeler
Brian KeelerExecutive Director
Misha Donner
Misha DonnerDirector of Development
Marie Stewart
Marie StewartDirector of Operations
Liz Raum
Liz RaumDirector of Live Events
Nolan Harpp
Nolan HarppMarketing Coordinator
Sophia Zhou
Sophia ZhouDirector of Chamber Music

Board of Directors:

  • Patrick Trettenero, President
  • Sarah Chase, Vice President
  • Roxana Girand-Spitzer, Treasurer
  • Jeanine Sisco, Secretary
  • Nicolas Arauz
  • Matthew Brimer
  • Heather Dell’Amore
  • Doug Larson
  • Josh Nathanson
  • Kate Osofsky
  • Eileen Yajure
  • Jack Banning, President Emeritus

Advisory Board:

  • Murphy Birdsall
  • David Bisson
  • Lenora Champagne
  • David Conte
  • Priscilla Herdman
  • Dick Hermans
  • Jim Jackson
  • Robert Lyons
  • Curtis Moore
  • Joan Osofsky
  • Keith Reamer
  • Diana Woolis
  • Eugenia Zukerman
Volunteer at the Stissing Center

Contributions

In addition to volunteering and attending our events, we welcome donations from our community in any amount. Your tax-deductible donations will help us reach our goal to be the center of cultural and artistic life in Pine Plains and the Northern Dutchess County region, while helping to revitalize the local economy. To donate online, please click the button below: we accept all major credit and debit cards, and you can choose to make a monthly or one-time donation. To send a donation by check or money order, please use our mailing address:

The Stissing Center • P.O. Box 1024 • Pine Plains, NY 12567

Donate to TSC
For larger contributions or corporate matching, 
please call Misha at (518) 771-3340 or click here to send an email.
 
For corporate or individual sponsorship and underwriting opportunities, 
please call Misha at (518) 771-3340 or click here to send an email.

Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

The EIN number for The Stissing Center (Pine Plains Memorial Hall, Inc.) is 47-3035907.

Thank you.