The Stissing Center Welcomes You

OUR MISSIONPhoto of The Stissing Center by Photographer Paul Clemence.:  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.

The Stissing Center opened its doors to the public in late summer 2019 with a Construction Concert Series, featuring a benefit concert with Wynton Marsalis and a Grand Opening Community “Surprise Party” and Ribbon Cutting. With these events, The Stissing Center began to define its place as the center of artistic and cultural life in Pine Plains and Northern Dutchess County.

Then, in mid-March 2020, just days away from announcing our Spring lineup, everything changed. We changed course for the next 16 months and produced only virtual programming. These free offerings included The Chair Series and LIVE! from The Stissing Center!, a summer chamber music series. The Stissing Summer Variety Show, a virtual fundraiser, premiered on August 29, 2020. Virtual performances continued into 2021, and they remain available on this site and our YouTube channel.

Finally, in the summer of 2021, TSC enthusiastically announced the opening of its doors with two new live music series and new Covid safety protocols.

The first was an in-person second season “Live from The Stissing Center!” which featured a wonderful assortment of classical artists on piano, viola, violin, and clarinet. Season 3 of Live! is already in the works for 2022.

The second is the Fall Concert Series, Reopening The Doors. Made possible by Presenting Sponsor The Bank of Millbrook and Community Sponsor Nuvance Health, this series boasts an impressive and diverse list of performers, curated to appeal to a variety of musical interests. The Stissing Center and our live audiences were captivated by The Lucky 5, Misty Blues, Sweet Megg, and Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones, all first-timers on the TSC stage. Special events this autumn included an evening of “Bach to Queen and Everything Between” with several musicians and vocalists and a magical “touring organ, and a Halloween treat with The Rock Academy’s Show Band — 23 students aged 12-18, in costume, belting out rock classics. We’re super pleased to have Bruce Molsky return to TSC on December 4 with Tony Trischka. Along with these great concerts, we hosted a Square Dance with caller Alex Udis and the Ulster County Cornshuckers to cap off Pine Plains’ Ag Fair Weekend, with ticket proceeds going to the Pine Plains FFA. And the Stissing Theatre Guild will return for an evening of drama as they did in 2019.

Local Produce Readers’ Theatre is our newest series at The Stissing Center. These 9 monthly performances feature local playwrights and/or actors, running from October 2021 thru June 2022. Series passes and individual tickets are available on our Local Produce Ticket Page. We’re very grateful to our Presenting Sponsor Oblong Books and Farm(s) to Stage Sponsors RonnybrookBlack Sheep HillBig Rock Market, and Sugar Hill Farm.

2022 is just around the corner and we’re busy booking new events to welcome you back to The Stissing Center again in the new year.

HOW WE GOT HERE

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.

SUPPORT THE STISSING CENTER

Like all non-profits, we need to constantly raise funds through donations and grants. These funds are necessary to keep our organization running, and to complete important renovations and future construction.

For example, early 2021 saw the installation of our new HVAC system and sound system. We are presently designing and fundraising for a second performance space, The Cellar at the Center, where we will host more intimate gatherings, meetings, films, and community events. The lower level will also be home to a kitchen.

A much larger project calls for a new rear extension that will house an elevator, dressing rooms, additional restrooms, and a new entrance to the building, and top floor renovations will create spaces for artists and for other non-profits to deliver much needed services to the region.

There are exciting times ahead for TSC. To take a tour of The Stissing Center and/or become a major benefactor, please contact our Director of Development, Misha Donner or our Executive Director, Brian Keeler. Interested in volunteering? Please click here!

We could not be here today without the generous support of more than 1,000 donors. You can add your name to the growing list.

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!

Make a Tax-Deductible Donation

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 ZhouChamber Music Director

Board of Directors:

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

Advisory Board:

  • Murphy Birdsall
  • David Bisson
  • Lenora Champagne
  • David Conte
  • Jim Jackson
  • Robert Lyons
  • Linda Marston-Reid
  • 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.