SOMERSET, KENTUCKY (April 27, 2022) — The City of Somerset has entered into a six-month partnership with Pure Grain Presents to bring more than 60 performing artists to The Virginia in 2022.
Pure Grain Presents is the creative venture of Tiffany Finley and Nathan Paul Isaac, Somerset residents who together bring more than 20 years of experience booking, managing and promoting artists, musicians and events in the Kentucky music scene and beyond.
The Virginia is expected to reopen in June — 2022 marks the building’s 100th anniversary — following a year-long renovation to convert the ailing building into a live performance venue. Somerset City Council took ownership of the building in September 2020 and voted in April 2021 to renovate the space.
Built in 1922, The Virginia — once an integral part of the downtown landscape, serving as a theater and later a movie cinema — had been vacant since 1994, when an ice storm caused the building’s roof to collapse. Numerous attempts were made to raise funds to revive the building, the latest efforts focused on replacing the roof and removing hazardous materials, theater seats and the cinema’s old balcony.
Now the venue will be home to live music and theater and will be available to rent for private events. Flashback Theater Co. will be The Virginia’s theater-in-residence.
Finley, who has been involved in community development projects in Pulaski County for more than a decade, recalls being a part of discussions to resurrect The Virginia.
“I’ve attended countless meetings during the last 15 years in which I experienced first-hand our community’s determination and passion to see a new day for the Virginia Theater,” Finley said. “I am thankful Mayor Keck had the vision and acumen to make our community’s dreams a reality. And I’m honored that the City of Somerset trusts Pure Grain with such an important part of our history. Nathan and I will take on the role with the same determination and passion.”
Serving the last 13 years as executive director of the Master Musicians Festival, Finley is one of Kentucky’s most experienced music promoters and coordinators. She is also an owner and partner in Black Mountain Music Management and currently serves as the president of the Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce.
Isaac has served on the board of directors of the Master Musicians Festival for four years, currently is the executive producer of SomerSessions and Pure Grain Studios, and previously managed the branding, promotion and production for Eastwood Records in Louisville.
“Tiffany and I are very excited to bring our experience and connections in the music industry to The Virginia,” Isaac said. “We welcome the opportunity to help make this beautiful theater shine brighter than ever. And honestly, it’s an honor to work with a venue that has such a long, storied history – and become a part of that history as it embarks on a new journey.”
Somerset Mayor Alan Keck said being able to host live music in The Virginia was integral to it being a sustainable venture for the city. With Pure Grain Presents curating a music series for residents and visitors alike, he said, The Virginia’s future looks bright.
“The Virginia is such a beloved space in our community,” Keck said. “It is important that the entertainment we provide creates new memories and a sense of connection for those who have supported this effort for so long, as well as unique experiences for those who have never had the pleasure of visiting downtown Somerset before. Music is about connection. I am excited to attend the first concert in The Virginia and I feel confident that with Pure Grain’s expertise and guidance, this venue will become a favorite for music-lovers across the community, region and state.”
The Pure Grain Presents event series begins June 24-25 with an exclusive, two-night, limited-capacity concert, marking the historic return of The Virginia as an entertainment venue. More information and tickets will be available soon on The Virginia’s website, thevirginiaky.com.