History of the JPAC
Jones Performing Arts Center
The Seby B. Jones Performing Arts Center (JPAC) hosts the Allen de Hart Concert Series, which is held in Louisburg College's 1,200-seat auditorium/theatre complex. The JPAC is also home to the Norris Theatre, the Faulkner Gallery (the College’s permanent art collection), and the Lumpkin Community Gallery, which showcases professional exhibitions as well as Louisburg College and Franklin County student art shows.
Seby B. Jones
The Seby Jones Performing Arts Center (JPAC) is dedicated in memory of Mr. Seby B. Jones In recognition of the major commitments from the Jones Family Foundation. From his humble beginnings on a Franklin County farm to the development of Crabtree Valley Mall, Falls Village, and numerous other Raleigh area landmarks, Seby Jones has left his mark on the central North Carolina landscape and social conscience.
In 1945, Jones and James A. Davidson, a Scottish immigrant and master carpenter, formed the Davidson and Jones Construction Company. In the post-war years, the firm built and renovated stores and supermarkets, and over 100 churches. The experience garnered in these projects culminated with the planning and construction of Crabtree Valley Mall, which opened in 1972.
Jones made a successful run for Raleigh City Council in 1967 and was elected mayor in 1969, serving at a time when the city was just beginning to intensively develop beyond its pre-war boundaries. He helped shepherd the city through the civil rights era and the numerous changes in the city prompted by the influx of newcomers coming to work in Research Triangle Park. Innovations under Jones' helm included the practice of setting five-year goals for city government and the establishment of the Office of Intergovernmental Coordinator whose mission was to ensure all Raleigh citizens access to local, state, and federal agencies and funds to improve their neighborhoods and their lives.
Jones regarded the marked improvement in race relations in Raleigh as one of his most important accomplishments. His efforts led to an increased interest in philanthropy and college scholarships for deserving students. He served on the Board of Trustees at St. Augustine's College where a fine arts center was named for him. Jones also served on the Board of Trustees at Meredith College and endowed the Seby Jones Chapel there. Jones took great pleasure in giving back to the community, supporting numerous organizations including the Raleigh Rescue Mission, Lions Club, the Boy Scouts, and the Gideon Society. Jones' son, Robert (Roddy) Jones, served on the Louisburg College Board of Trustees.
Frances Boyette Dickson Auditorium
A 1935 alumna of Louisburg College, Mrs. Frances Boyette Dickson (1916-2014) gave freely of her time, talents, and resources in support of her beloved alma mater. In 2009, the Board of Trustees named the College auditorium the Frances Boyette Dickson Auditorium in honor of her years of commitment and support. She served on the Board of Trustees from 2002-2006, and also served for a time on the Golden Anniversary Council; she held the status of Trustee Emeritus through the rest of her life.
A strong believer in alumni giving, Mrs. Dickson was a member of the Society of 1787, the Old Main Society, the President's Club, and the 220 Giving Club. In 1987, she endowed the Lillian Cherry Boyette Scholarship in honor of her mother. In 2002, she was the honored recipient of the Cecil W. Robbins Public Service Award.
Her daughter, Ann Bowen of Charlottesville, Virginia, currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees. Mrs. Dickson's great-grandson, Mack Roberts, is also a graduate of Louisburg College. The College's most generous benefactress in its history, Mrs. Dickson left an indelible imprint on the face of the institution, and her legacy will continue to inspire and challenge others to help ensure her alma mater remains strong and flourishes.
Emily and Scott Gardner Concert Stage
In 2010, the College renamed the Auditorium stage the Emily and Scott Gardner Concert Stage in recognition of their service and generosity to Louisburg College. Emily and Scott met at the College in 1946 and became sweethearts. Emily came to Louisburg from North Harlowe, in Eastern North Carolina, in fall 1944; Scott arrived at Louisburg from nearby Warrenton three years earlier. He interrupted his education as many young men at the time and joined the service. He subsequently returned to Louisburg and they both graduated in 1946. Scott entered the family business, Warrenton Furniture Exchange, and they married in 1948. Emily became active in Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, raised their three children - David, Janet, and Susan - and helped out in the business. Emily served on numerous civic associations, including School Board, and she and Scott were great supporters of John Graham High School in Warrenton, which their children all attended.
Edith C. Lumpkin Gallery
The Traveling Exhibition Gallery on the North side of the Jones Center was formally named the Edith C. Lumpkin Community Gallery on April 15, 2011. The gallery was dedicated in honor of Mrs. Lumpkin by her children, Parker and Willie Lee, who continue her tradition of supporting Louisburg College, most recently donating funds to replace the roof of the Seby B. Jones Performing Arts Center. Mrs. Lumpkin served faithfully on the College's Board of Trustees from 1971 until 1995, and worked to further the performing and visual arts at Louisburg College and in Franklin County.
Concert Series History
In 1957, shortly after coming to work at Louisburg College, Mr. Allen de Hart initiated the annual concert series and served as concert manager for 44 years. Under de Hart's direction, the series attracted a variety of well-known performers from every continent and all the major countries of Europe. In the mid-seventies, de Hart also created the Franklin County Folk Festival which was held annually on the Louisburg campus. The festival spawned the International Whistlers Convention that attracts participants from around the world. Also during his years at Louisburg College, de Hart formed a foreign film series and a lecture series. Among the lecturers were Margaret Meade, the Dalai Lama and Bob Woodward.
Louisburg College recognized de Hart's many contributions to the arts and renamed the concert series after him in a special resolution of appreciation in 2001. Beginning with the 2002-2003 season, the Louisburg College Concert Series became known as the Allen de Hart Concert Series in honor of its late founder and long-time manager.
Since 2001, the Allen de Hart Concert Series has been managed by Robert Poole, Director of the JPAC. He holds a bachelor's degree in history from East Carolina University and a master's degree in liberal studies from North Carolina State University. Before coming to Louisburg College, Poole worked at North Carolina State University, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and the North Carolina Museum of History. He also spent four years in the United States Air Force, including two years in Madrid, Spain, at Torrejon Air Base.