Second Stage | Amherst Fulfilling Its Vision

Second Stage | Amherst Fulfilling Its Vision

It’s been over two years (since the summer of 2015) that the non-profit Second Stage | Amherst opened in the former home of the Amherst Baptist congregation, in downtown Amherst, with the goal of becoming a place shared by the Amherst community for a variety of purposes.

Besides attracting artists and becoming a focal point for cultural activities that add to the Amherst area’s quality of life, it has served as a convenient and low-cost venue for meetings, classes and workshops, community forums and a farmers’ market that started five years ago under the huge oak tree.

Improvements to the building, which is leased from Amherst County, have included the installation of handicapped-accessible facilities, the repainting of  the beautiful pressed metal ceiling in the performance space, and the upgrading of the HVAC systems.

The 2nd Street Farmers Market completes its 5th year in Oct. 2017, under the huge oak tree. It runs on Thursday afternoons every year from April thru early October. Inside markets are often held during the winter and spring months.



Upcoming 2017 events include:

Friday, September 22
AGAR presents
Chris Magee and Friends

7:30 PM | Tickets $15

Saturday, September 30
Come to the Table, a Community Dinner, on grounds of SSA

5-9 PM | Tickets $10 (10 & under free)

Thursday, October 12
Agri + Culture Market
featuring music by Temple & Staton and a Community Seed Swap
3:30 – 6:30 | Free

Saturday, November 11
Opera on the James presents

​“The Bremen Town Musicians”
4 PM | Free (donations accepted!)

Saturday, November 18
Scottish folksinger and songwriter Jim Malcolm

7:30 PM | Tickets $15

Sunday, November 26
Singing in the Season:
a progressive holiday musical event with six Amherst churches
3 PM | Free

Saturday, December 9
Santa Paws Coming to Town!

Bring your furry friend to have photo taken with Santa. Shop the Winter Bazaar. 11 am. – 4 pm. Free



Here is a look of the organizations that are currently renting space at 2nd Stage.

Deb Walker is a retired Amherst County teacher turned artisan. Her Lavender Design Jewelry Studio 7 lives up to its name; the pleasant scent of lavender fills the hall and her studio. She has been making jewelry for about 11 years, since she made gifts of necklaces and earrings for the bridesmaids of her daughter’s wedding.

Walker eventually took some classes and now designs with stones, pearls and crystals. She says that every piece she makes is original and unique, although she has been asked to make similar items to some popular ones she previously created.

Her studio hours are the same as the Farmers Market; Thursdays (3:30-6:30), and by appointment. For more information, e-mail her at or call (434) 922-7244.



Oil-painting artist Mary-Ellen Higgins displays her paintings in the same Studio 7 that Deb Walker has for her jewelry. Higgins has only been painting for six years, but she previously kept sketch books before then. Her husband eventually saw the sketches and her talent and encouraged her to take courses, which she did at Lynchburg’s Academy of Arts and The Art Box. She also shows at various local festivals. The Studio is open during the Farmers’ Market, April – October, from 3:30pm to 6:30 pm., and during the Santa Paws Market in December, most public events, and also by appointment.  For more information, call (434) 922-7244.   




Mindful Mountain Yoga teaches various aspects of Yoga which also relies on extensive medical experience. John Kortmulder, proprietor, is excited to offer the first (and only) yoga studio in Amherst County. The teachers include John (Yoga, breathing, meditation); Tim Griffin (Tai Chi and Qigong); Bonnie Black (Yoga) and Malcolm (African and Caribbean Percussion).

Mindful Mountain Yoga practices a personal yoga style, suitable for any ability level, encouraging beginners. Classes are taught with humor without being judgmental or competitive. Both individual and group classes are available during various days of the week. For more information, visit or call 914-589-0964. Like them on FB!



Specializing in seascapes and cityscapes in oil, the Ken Templeton Studio is another interesting place to visit. Having exhibited at the George Billis Gallery in New York City and other parts of the U.S., Templeton has won numerous awards.

“As a realist painter,” Templeton says, “I am attracted to the places where we live, work and play. A small town perhaps, maybe a rural outpost… Lately, vibrant cities have fascinated me. I use photographs as an outline or a stepping off point in my work. My photographs are rather amateurish or shot with an iPhone, which allows for more interpretation. I choose to work in small format as this expedites the process. At night, I sketch them out while relaxing at home. During the day, they come alive as I apply paint, working in two to three layers.” For more information, visit or call (252) 202-6599.

Ken works at his studio most weekdays and is also available by appointment.



WORK  is a “jewel-box” gallery of fine art, where Craig Pleasants shows artists from around the world working in contemporary practices.  Pleasants is an artist and the former Artistic Director of VCCA. His own artwork has been exhibited at The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the North Carolina Museum of Art, The Alternative Museum in New York, and The Musee d’Art Contemporain in Marseille. WORK gallery is open on Thursdays from 3:30-5:30 during the Second Stage Farmer’s Market, or by appointment. For more information, please visit, and, or call (434) 946-7547.




Studio 8 is an innovative arts classroom for learners of all ages. Owner and Director, Maryellen Barron, is licensed in Virginia and currently teaches Art to 9 -12th graders at Amherst High School. She holds a degree in Art Education and has 23 years of experience teaching art to people aged 2 through 82. Classes in Drawing, Painting, Sewing and Mixed Media are taught in 4 week sessions. Workshops are available for adults. For more information, visit or call (419) 654-0615.





For a calendar of 2018 events at Second Stage | Amherst, visit Interested volunteers, donors or renters can also visit the website for more information or e-mail


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