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Ten years ago, Plymouth lacked a mid-size room for live music, theater, and dance. The Plymouth Center for the Arts, housed in the town’s former library, was the right size for an art show, but too small for a rock band. Memorial Hall, good for an orchestra, was too large for a trio.

The answer, said Bob Hollis, president of the board of directors for the Greater Plymouth Performing Arts Center, turned out to be “right under my nose.”

It was a one-time Methodist church at 25 ½ Court St. A Methodist congregation had worshipped in the building, which dates to 1886, until it moved to a new facility in West Plymouth in the 1970s. The Jewish congregation acquired the building then for use for religious education classes and high holiday services. Eventually, the congregation felt it was not getting enough use out of the building to justify the expense of upkeep and was willing to sell it.

Acting on Hollis’s recommendation, Plymouth Town Meeting voted in October 2012 to spend $650,000 in Community Preservation Act funds to buy the building and pay for renovations. More funding was later appropriated by the town to fine tune the building’s acoustics and turn the interior into a hall for live music, theater, talks, and other uses.

A year and a half of renovations took place from 2012 to 2014. Improvements were made to the balcony and some of the pews. Wall treatments and curtains helped to diminish reverberation and improve the acoustics. More funding came from the town and private donations for renovations to the balcony and the pews, and “a great sound system” was added, Hollis said.

“All the seats are good,” he said. “There are no columns to spoil the view, because it was a church.”

Hollis became the president of the board of directors for the town facility now known as The Spire Center for Performing Arts. Local attorney Lloyd Rosenberg is vice president. Accountant Lisa Santos serves as the board’s treasurer.

By all accounts, The Spire has helped spurred the town center’s revival.

Sold-out shows “brought a lot of activity to the town,” Hollis said, and Spire audiences opened other doors in the town center when they came for a show.

“Restaurants loved it,” he said.

But while The Spire looked good on the inside, the exterior needed work, particularly a deteriorating 19th century roof. Over the years, it degenerated into something of an eyesore.

“It was like the ugly duckling,” Hollis said. “The outside didn’t look too good, but the inside was beautiful.”

Once again, the town stepped up. Town Meeting approved spending $3.6 million in Community Preservation Act money to help return the building’s façade – including an ornamental roof design – to its 19th Century splendor.

A view of the scaffolding-encased Spire building during renovation work earlier this year. Credit: (Photo by Ed Nute)

With great acoustics, clear sightlines, and a stately interior including original architectural details, the 225-seat performance hall offers what the building’s caretakers term “a one-of-a-kind experience.” 

“Looking back over the past decade, we have not only constructed a performance space but also fostered a community,” Hollis said in a statement. “Since opening our doors in 2014, we have continued to expand and attract new members and grow to something bigger than any of us imagined. Our venue is like no other and has grown to be special to this town.”

To celebrate its 10-year anniversary, The Spire will offer a series of live musical performances from Wednesday, April 10, through Saturday, April 14. The award-winning country-roots band Donna the Buffalo will perform on Wednesday at 8 p.m. On Thursday, April 11, folk singer-songwriter Peter Mulvey performs at 7:30 p.m. The Spire’s entertainment bookers called this “a special show” because Mulvey was one of the hall’s first acts during the live-music center’s inaugural season of 2014.

On Friday, beginning at 8 p.m. award-winning singer-songwriter Lori McKenna, one of country music’s most successful artists, will perform. After finishing an opener set, Massachusetts based songwriter Mark Erelli will join McKenna on stage. Erelli has appeared often at The Spire as a solo act, with McKenna, and with other artists.

 The anniversary celebration will conclude on Saturday, April 13, with an evening-long World Music concert featuring three acts. Peruvian guitarist Carlos Odrias, celebrated for his instrumental skill, will perform with his trio at 7 p.m.

At 8 p.m., Mark Greel and Sambita will perform classics from South and Central America, as well as North American pop.

At 9:15 p.m., Brooklyn’s Kaleta & Super Yamba Band perform music from the West African country of Benin Republic.

The range of music offered in the milestone celebration sums up the ability of the town’s live performance hall to attract performers from throughout the world.

“We’re incredibly excited to have such great musicians come to perform at the space for our ten-year anniversary,” said Dot McDonough, director of the venue’s marketing and operations.

The Spire is handicapped-accessible. Limited public parking is available on Main and Court streets, but there are several public lots nearby.

Things to do this week and beyond

Monday, April 8

The Manomet branch library hosts story time for children up to age 6 from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Children, parents and caregivers are welcome to enjoy books, songs, rhymes, and movement activities together. No registration is required.

Plymouth library hosts a new book club which will discuss a different true crime selection every month. The club will read “Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, The FBI, and a Devil’s Deal” by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill, from 6 to 7 p.m. Copies of the book will be available to check out at the circulation desk prior to the meeting. For questions contact Maureen Coleman or Shane Indeglia at 508-830-4250 ext. 204 or 208.

Three V Restaurant, 10 Cordage Park, hosts musical bingo from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 9

Colum McCann and Diane Foley will discuss the book “American Mother” in an online conversation hosted by the Plymouth Library on April 9.

Plymouth library hosts an online one-of-a-kind conversation from 2 to 3 p.m. with National Book Award-winner Colum McCann, joined by Diane Foley, the inspiration behind the heartrending book “American Mother.” Foley is the mother of James Foley, a freelance journalist captured and beheaded by ISIS in 2014. The event URL is here.

Plymouth library’s Tween Graphic Novel Club discusses “El Deafo” by Cece Bell, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The club is for tweeners ages 9 to 12, who can pick up the book at the main circulation desk. Snacks are provided. Register here.

Craft Creations & Cider takes over the High Limb Cidery Taproom at G Pub, 101 Carver Road, every Tuesday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. Call the pub for ticket information at 508-591-0964.

Wednesday, April 10

The Plymouth Garden Club will hold its monthly meeting 1 p.m. at the Chiltonville Church. The principal speaker is Nancy Stetson-Stuart, an award-winning author and journalist who specializes in women, biography, and social history. She will speak about her book “‘Poor Richard’s Women,” a vivid portrait of the women who loved, nurtured, and defended Benjamin Franklin. A traditional “Afternoon Tea” will be served after the program. Guests are welcome to attend for a $5 fee.

Rescue Plymouth Wildlife, a community advocacy program focused on raising awareness about the harm to public health and biodiversity of the second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (known as SGARs) used in Plymouth, will hold a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Plymouth Library. In2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency banned the sale of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides to consumers after receiving thousands of reports of the accidental poisoning of children under the age of three. Today, these highly toxic chemicals are still widely used by pest management professionals, and they remain freely available to consumers via e-commerce. The meeting will feature a discussion of the issue, what advocates hope to accomplish, and how interested citizens can help.

Roots band Donna The Buffalo performs at The Spire Center from 8 to 10 p.m. As reported above, The Spire is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a series of live music performances. Tickets, $31.50 and $35.

Thursday, April 11

Wildlands Trust is conducting a seed starter workshop at Davis-Douglas Farm, 675 Long Pond Road, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The cost is $5 for trust members; $10 for nonmembers. Children can attend for free. Get tickets here.

Peter Mulvey, without his dog, will be at The Spire on April 11.

Peter Mulvey says he has been a songwriter, road-dog, raconteur, and almost-poet since before he can remember. In 1989 he spent a year in Ireland, busking on the streets of Dublin and hitchhiking to whatever gigs he could find. He will perform from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at The Spire. Tickets are $25.

Friday, April 12

More than 25 local organizations seeking volunteers will be on hand for the Spring Volunteer Fair at The Pinehills. Meet at the Stonebridge Club, 55 Stonebridge Road, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Lori McKenna, one of Nashville’s most in-demand songwriters, will perform with special guest Mark Erelli at The Spire at 8 p.m. Tickets are $90 and available here.

Saturday, April 13

As part of the Plymouth library program “One Book, One Community,” lovers of the outdoors are invited to join Mass Audubon for a short walk around Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary to look for signs of emerging spring critters like frogs and salamanders. Walk leaders will discuss vernal pool species and how these animals survived the winter. Meet at 60 Beaver Dam Road at 12:30 p.m. The event is free, but registration is required. Register here.

Singer/songwriter Valerie Barretto will perform at Speedwell Tavern, 47 Main St., from 2 to 5 p.m.

Sambita will perform at The Spire as part of the venue’s 10th anniversary celebration, on April 13.

As reported above, The Spire Center’s 10-year celebration will conclude with an evening-long World Music concert featuring three bands that will perform music from Latin America and Africa. Peruvian guitarist Carlos Odrias will perform with his trio at 7 p.m. At 8 p.m. Mark Greel and Sambita perform classics from South and Central America as well as North American pop. At 9:15 p.m. Brooklyn’s Kaleta & Super Yamba Band perform music from the West African country of Benin Republic. Tickets range from $15 to $35 and are available here.

Sunday, April 14

For those wishing to spend some time out of doors in the town’s open green space, a map of hiking trails in Myles Standish State Forest is available at the forest headquarters, a six-mile drive from the park’s Long Pond Road entrance. The map shows five easily accessible hiking trails, plus 15 miles of paved bike trails through the forest.

Three V Restaurant, 10 Cordage Park Circle, offers live music by Fil Pacino, from 1 to 4 p.m.

The Queen tribute band One Night of Queen will be at Memorial Hall on April 12. Credit: (One Night of Queen)

One Night of Queen is a touring 2-hour stage show performed by Gary Mullen & The Works that pays tribute to the stage theatrics and music of Queen. The show will take place at Memorial Hall, 83 Court St., at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $29 to $69 and are available here. 

Monday, April 15

April 15 draws quite list of observances. It’s Jackie Robinson Day, Microvolunteering Day, National Glazed Spiral Ham Day, National Gripers’ Day, and it’s also Patriots’ Day, as observed in the states of Massachusetts and Maine. (It’s also school vacation week in Plymouth.)

Uva Wine Bar, 46 Main St., will provides materials and supplies for making a pendant necklace and a pair of earrings, from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $55, and available here.

Tuesday, April 16

It’s “April Kids Week” at Pilgrim Hall Museum, with free admission for all and free entertainment and family-friendly activities from 9:30 to 5. Visitors can expect daily “Treasure Hunts” for kids and special programs for young learners. Children must be accompanied by an adult. At 2 p.m. today David Coffin presents “Life at Sea” a program in which participants sing along on a “shanty” work song.

Author and historian Linda Coombs will lead a discussion of her book “Colonization and the Wampanoag Story” at the Plymouth library from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Coombs is a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah and lives in the Wampanoag community of Mashpee on Cape Cod. The program is intended for children ages 10 and up, but ages 6 and up are welcome. Register here.

Wednesday, April 17

April Kids Week at Pilgrim Hall presents “The Herring Pond Wampanoag Family Workshop for Earth Day” at 11 a.m. The museum is free this week through Friday. Workshop participants will create an Earth Day-themed artwork to take home. Herring Pond Wampanoag tribal members and local artists from the Community Arts Collaborative will also lead workshops from 1 to 4 p.m. on wampum and pendant making.

Wednesday Walks at Mass Audubon’s Tidmarsh Sanctuary, 60 Beaver Dam Road, take place at from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Participants will learn about the sanctuary’s successful wetlands restoration, view the sanctuary’s native plant and animal species, and learn what is in store for the future. This free guided walk led by Mass Audubon staff is geared toward adults.

Plymouth Library hosts a virtual chat with award-winning author Xochitl Gonzalez about her newest novel “Anita de Monte Laughs Last.” The book is described as “a propulsive, witty examination of power, love, and art, daring to ask who gets to be remembered and who is left behind in the rarefied world of the elite.” It takes place from 8 to 9 p.m. More information is here.

Thursday, April 18

Pilgrim Hall Museum presents “A Sea Story” by Charlotte Anne Dore and Rosalita’s Puppet Show at 11 a.m. At 1 p.m. one of the nation’s foremost storytellers, Judith Black, tells compelling, humorous, and riveting original stories. Museum admission is free this week.

Plimoth Patuxet Museums hosts Celebrate Earth Day, inviting visitors to explore how historians and scientists preserve and protect the ecosystems that sustained 17th-century daily life in Patxuet and Plymouth Colony to the modern day. Participants will perform scientific tests to understand the health of this essential ecosystem and different communities’ impacts on this historic landscape. The program is best suited for children ages 10-12, accompanied by an adult. Tickets start at $12. They’re available here.

Betsy Hall leads an afternoon group meditation and discussion of mindful practices and techniques, followed by a good walk, from 1 to 3 p.m. Participants will silently hike the Big Point Trail of Halfway Pond Conservation Area, ending with more discussion and reflection. This program is for new and experienced meditators. Meet at 43 West Long Pond Road. Tickets are $5 for Wildland Trust members, $10 for non-members. They’re available here.

Friday, April 19

The Jenney Interpretive Centre, 48 Summer St., creates a day for homeschoolers: a two-hour program with sessions on topics such as “Stories of the Mayflower and the Pilgrims,” “Thanksgiving in the New World,” “The Pursuit of Happiness,” and “Massasoit and Hobomok” from 9:30 to 4 p.m. Prices start at $20. Register here.

Pilgrim Hall Museum presents “Story Time” at 11 a.m. Boston-based storyteller and art specialist Andrea Kamens weaves magic in a diverse range of tales that resonate with young and old. At 1 p.m. storyteller Jackson Gillman brings the world of coastal wonders and sea creatures alive with humor, tales and songs for all ages in a program titled “Whales, Octopi & Sharks.” The museum is free this week.

Saturday, April 20

The Herring Run Festival is on April 20. Credit: (Photo by Mark Pothier)

The Plymouth Herring Run Festival returns to the Plimoth Grist Mill and along Town Brook through Brewster Gardens for a day of family-friendly activities including herring counts, alewife art, games, and live music from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants are invited to chat with local scientists, help contribute to ongoing herring research, and take a photo with someone (or something) called “Happy Fish!”

Is it time to leave the past behind? The “SHRED IT” truck will be in the Plymouth library’s parking lot at 8 a.m., and “everyone is welcome to bring their personal documents for on-site, secure shredding!” – for a modest fee. Each box the size of a traditional bankers’ box costs $10, and all funds raised will be used by the Plymouth Public Library Foundation to support the library. For questions, call 508-830-4250 x216.

Sunday, April 21

The Sunday Funday Residency at The Spire with South Shore roots rock band The Shady Roosters has been extended into May. Together for some 25 years, mainly under the name Lonesome Jukebox, the band performs a mix of rockabilly, blues, roots, and country with some original tunes that would have sounded right in the ’50s and ’60s. The band performs from 2 to 5 p.m. Tickets are sold at the door for $5 and are cash only.

The Chordage Ensemble performs at Christ Church on April 21.

Chordage Ensemble, part of a live performance series of Chamber Music on the South Shore, will perform a program titled “Celebrate Spring” at 4 p.m. at Christ Church Parish, 149 Court St. The program includes music by Schumann, Schubert, Gershwin, Amy Beach, and Dominic Dousa. The ensemble includes Susan Davies, soprano; Marguerie Levin, clarinet; James Raftopoulos, viola; and Susan Hadfield, piano. Tickets are $25, or “pay what you can.” Ages 12 and under are free.

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