COVID-19 Impact

Like many small theatres across this nation and around the world New Spire Arts has been adversely impacted by the global pandemic. We have been shut down completely and then allowed to open at a small percentage of our capacity at various times throughout this past year. Our ability to present live performances has been drastically limited.

We continue to stay on top of the latest government mandates and are very hopeful that the distribution of effective vaccines will begin to put this trying experience behind us. If you are able, we ask that you consider making a donation to help support New Spire Arts during this very challenging time. Every donation helps ensure that we will be able to continue to bring exciting live performances to our beloved Frederick community. Thank you for supporting local performing arts!

Click here to donate!

Not goodbye, but see you later.

Now that Governor Hogan announced Phase 3 in September, we are moving to some limited in-person performances. You may have already noticed our Road to Hamburg concert scheduled for Sunday, November 8 at 3 PM which will be a great opportunity for all of us to put down the screen and experience live music the way it was meant to be! Also, we are partnering with the other two theaters here in Frederick's Theater District, the Weinberg Center for the Arts and the Maryland Ensemble Theatre in a live event. This time it will feature The Seldom Scene and Hogslip String Band, live at the Fairgrounds Drive-In also on a Sunday, November 15 at 4 PM.

Here's a little teaser: look for an announcement out soon on our 2021 Concert Series. I'm sure you will be familiar with many of the artists we have lined up. Tickets will at first be sold on a subscription basis at a price that's a real steal. If you haven't already signed up to receive out newsletter, now is the time to do so to receive advance notice of subscription sales.

I look forward to seeing you at both events!

Sincere regards,

Gerard Gibbs

Strategic Partnership Announced

New Spire Arts (NSA), Frederick's burgeoning non-profit dedicated to the performing Arts, is currently in the final stage of forming a strategic partnership with the YMCA of Frederick County to deliver arts education classes. The NSA-YMCA partnership will combine the YMCA's proven leadership in youth and adult education with the expertise of NSA's performers and artists.

“As an organization, we’ve admired the structure that the YMCA has built for education, and by leveraging their expertise we can broaden our class offerings to students of all ages, by aligning with a proven leader. This allows us to avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’ and focus our time and resources on the performance theater. It’s really the best of both worlds in terms of supporting our mission to bring unique performing arts opportunities to people of all ages and abilities in Frederick,” said Gordon Cooley, New Spire Arts board president.

"Our goal is to provide a consistent offering of quality classes in the arts and humanities for Frederick County," says Chris Colville, CEO of the YMCA of Frederick County. “Performances and even master classes will be held at Stages, the newly renovated black box theater. The Stages venue is simply amazing. Modern, yet historic – and in the heart of downtown Frederick.”

"The Ausherman Family Foundation purchased 115 E Church Street for the purpose of uplifting performing arts education in Frederick. Both the YMCA and NSA are governed by strong, diverse boards, and we're confident this partnership represents a fiscally responsible solution that will continue to provide high quality arts education in our community for years to come," said Leigh Adams, Director of the Ausherman Family Foundation.

Following its successful grand opening in late January, NSA STAGES is now Frederick's largest black box theater. The NSA Board of Directors is currently focused on final equipment deliveries and installation, which are the final touches needed to make NSA STAGES a tempting palette for performing artists near and far. The NSA Board has also started an aggressive search for an Executive Director to focus on the task of growing and directing this new venue.

“We’re excited by the opportunities ahead and eager to help foster the growth of the performing arts in Frederick,” says Jonathan Warner, NSA board member.

From Camino to "Stranger in a Strange Land"

Joanne McCoy- In August of 2017, I left home to walk the Camino de Santiago. Although I am a veteran traveler, I had never attempted a solo trip. Still, at the age of 62, with little to no hiking experience, I decided to act on a dream that had been manifesting itself to me since I was a little child: I would walk the Way of Saint James.

The Way of Saint James is an ancient pilgrimage trail also known as the Camino de Santiago. Five hundred miles long and thousands of years old, it begins at the base of the highest peaks of the Pyrenes Mountains in southwest France and ends at the Cathedral de Santiago where the bones of St. James the Elder, one of Jesus Christ’s apostles, are said to rest. Since the early 9th century, millions of pilgrims have walked the Camino de Santiago seeking grace, peace, strength and forgiveness.

Last year, I made my own Way. With no companions, speaking neither French nor Basque nor anything but “school Spanish,” I set off from the medieval village of Saint Jean. I carried only 15 pounds of gear on my back, a set of hiking poles, and a special document from the Vatican allowing me to stay at the pilgrim hostels and eat at the pilgrim tables along the Way.

Before the sun had set on Day One, I had met a remarkable group of people from all over the world. We didn’t stay together over the entire journey, but our paths were to cross frequently over the next 40 days. We shared everything—water, food, music, clothing, advice, laughter and encouragement. With our eyes on Santiago, we were all the same. Some of us made it. Some of us didn’t. A few walked every step. Others stuck out their thumbs and hitched a few miles or jumped in the back of a pony and cart, or took a bus or train when exhausted or injured. We listened to our hearts and we didn’t judge. It was as if we were one body, all just walking each other home to Santiago.

It was one of the most transformative experiences of my life. I’ve been looking for ways to revisit parts of it, emotionally if not physically, for the past year….

Yesterday was Day One of Rehearsals for the ensemble cast of "Stranger in a Strange Land," the community story play that will be part of New Spire Arts Stages' Grand Opening Weekend performances on January 19, 20 & 21.

Thirteen performers and I came together as strangers at 2:00 P.M. By 8:30, we had connected with one another in a way I’ve rarely experienced before. With encouragement from the multi-talented Celeste Miller, and after hours of experiments in dance, music and storytelling, our group of 14 had not only become friends with a deeper-than-casual knowledge of one another, we had also formed the basis for a true ensemble cast.

It was kind of magic, really.

I came to the group with my Camino experience to share. I've never felt more like a stranger in a stranger land than I did on my pilgrimage. But thanks to God's grace shown to me by my fellow pilgrims, and the kind and generous hospitalateros (inn-keepers) along the way, I lost my sense of "otherness" and felt welcomed into the rolling, ever-changing community that is the Camino de Santiago.

As we prepared to leave the theater last night, I realized that I had just experienced another "stranger in a strange land" experience. Nearly everyone else in the ensemble is an experienced actor or gifted dancer, all well-acquainted with Dramaworld-- that "strange land" of grease paint, spotlights and improvisation-- that I've never stuck my big toe into before yesterday. A stranger in a strange land indeed!

It's clear to me now that this foray into performance is the next step for me in learning to do things that scare me....that take me out of my comfort zone, that make me STRETCH, without needing to be *perfect* at it.

Just like the Camino did.

This time, my fellow cast members are my fellow pilgrims. Most/all are more experienced than I (just like on Camino)-- but we are all sharing this road, encouraging one another-- bringing each other out of that sense of "otherness" into the joyful together that is community.

It feels good to be back on the road again.

I'm thinking of all of you, fellow pilgrims and Camino angels, with love and gratitude this morning.


To keep up with Joanne's journey, check out her Facebook page The Last Pilgrim

Obama White House Staffers Are Coming to Frederick!

West Wingers Book Release
Saturday, October 27 @ 4pm


Celebrate the release of West Wingers with some of the Obama White House staffers who contributed to the book! We're pleased to have Rumana Ahmed, Gautam Raghavan, Stephanie Valencia, Brad Jenkins, and Frederick native and Maryland School for the Deaf alum Leah Katz-Hernandez join us to talk about the book and their experiences in the West Wing.

Slowly But Surely: New Spire Stages Update!

Things are moving along at New Spire Stages on West Patrick Street. Yes, we are responsible for the sidewalk closure but please don’t hold it against us, we promise it will be worth it! We are excited to announce the walls of the black box theatre are almost complete! Just think, the chaos in this photo will be transformed into a brand new, flexible black box theatre. Our grand opening is only six months away...

FREE Mini Workshops at New Spire Arts!

Join us for FREE mini workshops every first and third Saturday! The whole family will be entertained by drama games, music, circus, and more! First Saturday Open Houses are from 3:00pm-5:00pm and third Saturday Open Houses are from 10:00am-12:00pm. Workshops are appropriate for elementary age kids and up.

All Open Houses are held at New Spire Studios at 115 E Church St. There is free parking behind the building which can be accessed by making a left from Church St onto Chapel Alley and then another left into our lot.


July 21, 10:00am-12:00pm

Musical Theatre Sing Along, Acting & Soolah Hoops


August 4, 3:00pm-5:00pm

Belly Dance & Circus


August 18, 10:00am-12:00pm

Musical Theatre Sing Along & Voice Acting

NEW: Fall 2018 Semester Classes!

Summer's barely started, but it's time to start thinking about fall! We've got over 25 new classes and workshops for all ages and interests. With our awesome new website, finding a class has never been easier!

You can search by genre or age range to find classes, or you can search by series, which filters based on our education programs.


First Lady of Maryland, Yumi Hogan, Visits New Spire Arts

Thank you to the First Lady of Maryland Yumi Hogan for attending the opening reception of the veterans art exhibit To Honor and to Serve: The Arts & the Military. The exhibit includes over fifty artworks created by veterans, military family members, and civilians interested in the impact of war and trauma.

First Lady Hogan visited New Spire Spaces to see the pieces on display there and for performances by two veterans, Jacquelyn Bengfort and Michael Carrasquillo.

She also made remarks at VOLT Restaurant, where the rest of the works from To Honor and to Serve are on display. To Honor and to Serve is on display from April 13 through June 2.

Grants Available to Artists for Rental Space

Thanks to a new grant program made possible by Ausherman Family Foundation, artists and arts organizations can now get a grant from the Frederick Arts Council to cover the cost of renting space at New Spire Spaces.

You can download the application here.