At Thrasher-Horne Center, our mission is to:
At Thrasher-Horne Center, we aspire to become the premiere gathering place; the intersection of arts and commerce; the hub of community, education, and culture in Northeast Florida.
We are a 1,750 seat performing arts venue and 6,200 square foot conference center located at St. Johns River State College in Orange Park. Our $22 million, 84,666 sq. ft. Thrasher-Horne Center opened in the Fall of 2004. Former St. Johns River State College President Robert L. McLendon, Jr. named our building after John Thrasher and Jim Horne, both of whom served in the Florida legislature and were instrumental in procuring funding for the Center. Together these men worked with the Clay County Chamber and Tourist Development Council to secure our permanent home on the Orange Park campus of St. Johns River State College. Tony Walsh was the Center’s first Executive Director from 2004 until his retirement in 2013. He was succeeded by current Executive Director, Denton Yockey.
The Center has played host to hundreds of events since its inception, including nationally touring musicians and performers, Broadway musicals, and a variety of other cultural offerings. In addition to the Main Stage Theatre, the Thrasher-Horne Center boasts a 220 flexible-seat Studio Theatre, two Visual Arts Galleries, a full Dance Studio, Scene Shop, and modern dressing rooms with full artist amenities. Our full service conference center offers 6,200 square feet of rental space divided into six flexible multipurpose rooms with an ample main lobby, a full catering warming kitchen, and direct access to our Studio Theatre for additional accommodations.
For more than 60 years, our parent organization – St. Johns River State College – along with the Florida School of the Arts, have been providing educational, technical and cultural opportunities to the residents of Clay, Putnam and St. Johns counties. Clay is one of Florida’s fastest growing counties, and the addition of the Thrasher-Horne Center provided the area with its first major flagship cultural arts facility. Thrasher-Horne Center’s large, modern theatrical and event spaces match in quality those found in performing art centers throughout Florida. We offer both superior entertainment and educational value as well as a direct economic benefit to Clay County.
Our Main Stage lobby houses two separate gallery spaces: The Lee Adams Florida Artists Gallery and the Jack Mitchell Gallery. Our galleries together make up the Mary Ward Huntley Wing, commemorated with a plaque that hangs between the two spaces.
During our inaugural season, area philanthropist Mary Ward Huntley helped create the two visual arts galleries adjacent to our Main Stage lobby. In addition to donating a large number of Lee Adams original works to our permanent collection, she chose to name one space the Lee Adams Florida Artists Gallery in honor of the local painter. This gallery showcases local Florida artists in a variety of artistic mediums.
The Jack Mitchell Gallery is located at the front of the Huntley Wing. Named after famed late New York photographer Jack Mitchell, it is dedicated to showcasing professional photography and has welcomed the best in both local and national artists. A large number of his notable celebrity portraits and photographs now reside in our permanent collection, thanks to a generous contribution by Mr. Mitchell.
Additionally, the Mary Ward Huntley Florida Artists Fund was established by Mrs. Huntley after the passing of her late husband Louis. This fund helps provide additional financial support for our annual visual arts exhibits, and can be supported publicly through our Donations page
Anna Zirbel is the Executive Director of the Thrasher-Horne Center at St. Johns River State College in Orange Park. With over 20 years of theatre and venue management experience, Anna has also served as both Thrasher-Horne Center’s Director of Marketing and Sales and Box Office Manager since joining the team in 2005. She has a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Management from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations with a Minor in Theatre from the University of Northern Iowa. Originally from the Midwest, Anna resides in Middleburg with her family.