Baxter Perkinson Center for the Arts
Chesterfield's new art center
After three decades of discussion, the Baxter Perkinson Center for the Arts has taken concrete steps toward becoming a reality.
Representatives of Chesterfield County, the Chesterfield Cultural Arts Foundation and Baxter Perkinson Center for the Arts broke ground for the center on June 24 in Chester. The 23,350-square-foot center will boast 352 theater seats, a multipurpose room for gatherings, an art gallery, classroom and parking. Completion is anticipated for fall 2020.
The center was originally the brainchild of Larry and Dottie Armstrong in the 1980s. Local dentist W. Baxter Perkinson Jr. and his wife, Elaine, donated $1 million to the Chesterfield Cultural Arts Foundation to name the center in honor of the Perkinson family. Donna Dean Stevens, widow of the late Jimmy Dean, and her husband, Jayson, donated $350,000 to the Foundation; the auditorium will be named after Jimmy Dean.
Executive director of the center is Bruce Miller, a longtime leader in Richmond’s arts community.