The Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts is scheduled to visit Evanston Thursday morning to participate in a roundtable discussion about creating a performing arts district downtown.

The NEA has provided $50,000 in funding to develop an architectural study and financial plan for the development.

The grant description for the project says it will propose scenarios for the rehabilitation, development and programming of the Second Baptist Church at 1717 Benson Ave. and the former Varsity Theater at 1706-1710 Sherman Ave.

A goal of the project is to retain in Evanston local theater, dance and music companies that have outgrown their original venues.

Among the people scheduled to participate in the roundtable discussion with Rocco Landesman of the NEA are Carolyn Dellutri of Downtown Evanston, Carol Coletta of ArtPlace,Terry Scrogum of the Illinois Arts Council and Greg Cameron of Arts Alliance Illinois.

The session is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. at the Downtown Evanston offices, 820 Davis St.

Top: The Varsity Theater building.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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