ELMIRA HEIGHTS, N.Y. (WENY) -- The Director of Center in the Heights Arian Witt prepares for the grand opening of her new community arts and wellness center Thursday afternoon.  

There are many new activities that the community will be able to partake in at the center. It will focus on creativity, music and wellness. 

“What we do here is private music lessons,” she said. “I have three piano teachers, a guitar teacher, and a percussion teacher.” 

Aside from the music lessons, people will also be able to participate in wellness classes. The center will offer yoga, bar, and light saber fencing.  

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, Witt had trouble finding a space for her children to practice their music. Witt’s fifteen-year-old son, Ryan, has been taking advantage of the new space for private piano lessons before it opens up to the public. He wanted to feel out the acoustics.  

“I grew up in the area,” she said. “We never had an arts community center in this area before so I decided it was time.” 

The pandemic was a catalyst for the idea of opening a center. Witt wanted to invest her time into this project for her children and the community.  

“It's probably been taking me a year and a half total,” she said. “From beginning of idea until now.” 

Witt was interested in finding a space that was large enough for activities the community might take an interest in. She decided to use the former Elmira Foursquare Church on W 13th Street in Elmira Heights. 

“A church space really just lends itself to all of the different spaces we need,” she said. “Downstairs we have our music studios that have sound proofing and pianos in each studio.”  

The grand opening of the center will take place virtually at 1:00 p.m.