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Our Mission

Grainger-Hill Performing Arts Center is a regional cultural and civic center which serves audiences throughout a multi-county region. It's aim always has been to bring the best performing arts opportunities possible for the people of Eastern North Carolina.

History

Listed in the National Historic Register, Grainger-Hill Performing Arts Center in Kinston, North Carolina is one of the last remaining examples of Greek Classical Revival Architecture still standing in North Carolina. Designed by Leslie N. Boney of Wilmington, it was constructed in 1925 for $555,000 as a three-story, "slow-burning complex" capable of housing 900 students. Thousands of students passed through its doors during the 69 years it was used as a public school.
In December 1987 students were reassigned to other facilities. The building was purchased by Neil Realty Co. of Hookerton and in 1999 the company donated the building to Preservation North Carolina.
A nonprofit foundation from Georgia, purchased and renovated the gymnasium and industrial arts building. The firm provided the Performing Arts Center with air conditioning and painting and contributed extra funding for the following four years.
The Neoclassical architecture and other amenities place Grainger-Hill in a class of its own in Eastern North Carolina. From the 1,131 seating capacity to the outstanding acoustic design, Grainger-Hill Performing Arts Center is the region's premier palace for theatrical performances.
Since the building was closed as a school in 1987, the Preservation of the Grainger Complex Inv., a volunteer group of concerned alumni and friends, has raised more than $700,000 to renovate, restore, and manage the auditorium.