NORTH SALEM, N.Y.-Schoolhouse Theater & Arts Center founder Lee Pope will receive Arts Westchester’s 2018 Lifetime Arts Community Award on April 11.

Pope is the woman behind The Schoolhouse Theater & Arts Center in Croton Falls, which has become a landmark home for the arts in Westchester County.

Pope transformed an old elementary school building dating to 1925 into a visual arts center in Croton Falls in 1983, turning classrooms into galleries and studio spaces showing the paintings and sculptures of many of Westchester’s most acclaimed artists. At that time, the cafeteria/gym was a white-walled room with 12 borrowed lights and no risers. In 1986, Jack Palance’s daughter, Brooke, and London actor Michael Wilding opened “Bedroom Farce” and the curtain went up on Westchester’s oldest non-profit professional theater. ​

The Schoolhouse has been honored by visits from a number of theater luminaries including playwrights Jules Feiffer, George Furth, Tina Howe, Michael Weller, and Paul Zindel, who all came to see productions of their works and lend the theater their support.