Troy-Hayner Cultural Center strives ‘to provide a safe environment for all’

One of the biggest events each year at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is a tea held in honor of Mary Jane Hayner, who built the mansion now home to the cultural center on Main Street in Troy. The event usually is held in April, but was moved to later in the year in 2020 due to COVID-19. CONTRIBUTED
One of the biggest events each year at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is a tea held in honor of Mary Jane Hayner, who built the mansion now home to the cultural center on Main Street in Troy. The event usually is held in April, but was moved to later in the year in 2020 due to COVID-19. CONTRIBUTED

Activities resume on limited basis, including student art show.

TROY – Those who work behind the scenes to make the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center tick say they are doing all they can within COVID-19-related restrictions to continue to provide classes, concerts and exhibits.

Those activities have helped the center grow and serve the community since it was established in 1976. Built in 1914 on West Main Street in Troy, the mansion was the home of Mary Jane Hayner before coming the city’s public library and then converted to the cultural center when a new library was built across the street.

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The past year has been like no other for the center, which was closed to the public for three months beginning March 16, 2020. Activities have resumed on a limited basis with two larger activities coming in the next month.

They include “An Artist Discovery: The Congressional Art Competition for the 8th Congressional District,” April 16-May 2.

The show features work of high school art students from across the district. Students submit entries to the office of U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, with winners selected by a panel of district artists. The winners were recognized April 17 with the grand prize winner invited to a national awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., where the artwork will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol.

A decision had yet to be made if the awards ceremony would be in-person or virtual, said Leona Sargent, Hayner exhibit coordinator.

“The Hayner Center is striving to provide a safe environment for all of our guests, volunteers and staff by following the directives provided to us by the governor of Ohio and the local Miami County Health Department. Therefore, masks, hand sanitizing and social distancing are required for all Hayner guests. Groups of 10 or more should call before they visit,” she said.

Another popular event is the annual Mrs. Hayner’s Birthday Tea, scheduled this year for April 22 and April 25 at 2 p.m. The event is held to celebrate Hayner’s gift of her mansion to the community, Sargent said.

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Reservations are required for the tea, which costs $15 for residents of the Troy school district and $18 for those outside the district.

This year’s tea also will feature a hat competition with the theme, “Hindsight is 2020.” For more information and reservations visit the center or go to www.troyhayner.org.

The past year has been full of challenges for the center, with rental income and classes income minimal and income from large events and trips on hold because of COVID-19 sparked attendance restrictions or prohibitions, said David Wion, Hayner’s executive director.

Center supporters are working to get the word out about the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center renewal levy that is on the May ballot. The request is to renew the 0.85-mill levy for another five years. This levy generates $592,500 a year and makes up approximately 82% of the center’s operating, maintenance and programming budget.

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This levy has been renewed every five years since 1976. The levy is placed on the ballot by the Troy City Schools Board of Education because Hayner left the home to the community in care of the Board of Education.

The center is operated by a board of governors separate from the Board of Education and Hayner levy money is held separate from the schools’ money.

The proposed levy would cost the owner of a home with a $100,000 market value $21.49 per year and a $125,000 value, $26.86, according to the Miami County Auditor’s Office.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com.

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