ESO Arts Center Aquires Building
Belle Haven, VA
04/12/2018 04:55 PM

ESO Arts Center today announced its acquisition of the current ESO Building at 15293 King Street, comprised of the Belle Haven School building, adjoining acreage and on-site parking. John Custis of Custis, Dix, Lewis & Custis LLP, represented ESO Arts Center in the acquisition. ESO has resided in the building formally owned by the Town of Belle Haven since 1986 when it became an incorporated non-profit organization.

ESO Arts Center was established in 1984 as an adult theatre troupe by Joyce Holland and Allen Derrick. Over the past 34 years, ESO has grown into a community arts center hosting classes, performances and exhibitions in Dance, Music and Visual Arts.

ESO Arts Center is now poised to begin work on establishing a capital campaign for building updates and development of additional teaching and performing spaces on the property; a multi-faceted project that will expand ESO’s current programs and events to continue to empower Eastern Shore residents through the arts. In addition to updating the facility to become completely ADA Compliant, ESO Arts Center seeks to improve current teaching spaces and resources, and add additional teaching and performance spaces in the coming years.

Executive Director Ashleigh Smith Maggard says of the building purchase: “The organization has been looking forward to the purchase of this building for quite some time, and is an undertaking that many people have been working on completing for years. We are grateful of all the hard work that has gotten ESO to this point- the meetings among past and present Board Members, ESO Staff and Belle Haven Town Council to strike a deal that allows ESO to continue to grow in its current space. We are excited that we will be able to apply for various grants and programs that will allow ESO to expand its walls so we may offer even more classes and events and continue to make the arts available to all residents of the Eastern Shore. Our next step is to start the ground work on a capital campaign for capital improvements and additional aid covering the costs of our building payments.”

More information about the building, the capital campaign updates, and upcoming events and how you can be involved in ESO’s growing future may be found on ESO’s recently updated website at

Ashleigh Maggard and Ashley Antunes
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