Ranky Tanky, the Grammy Award-winning quintet from Charleston, South Carolina, pose on the Hylton Center stage with “Mr. Furr.”
It may surprise some to learn that a plumbing and heating company is also a dedicated fan of the performing arts.
But the arts are a natural fit for F.H. Furr Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning & Electrical, one of the region’s top home comfort providers. The company has been the lead sponsor of programming at the Hylton Performing Arts Center since 2020.
The company’s generous support helps make the Hylton Center’s facilities and performances accessible to everyone, including veterans, community groups, and the many local schools that visit the center each year.
That’s been particularly important over the past 18 months, with Covid-19 restrictions forcing most in-person programming to be cancelled. “It was a challenge to transition our activities at the Hylton Performing Arts Center into the virtual realm, but we knew we needed to do it. Continued financial support from F.H. Furr helped make that happen,” said Rick Davis, executive director of the Hylton Center and dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. “I think maintaining a connection to the arts through our virtual programming has helped a lot of people feel less isolated.”
As a family-owned and operated company, F.H. Furr has always had a strong commitment to supporting and serving its community. In fact, ten percent of the company’s profits each year are dedicated to supporting community charities.
The company’s headquarters, in historic downtown Manassas, are located just down the road from the Hylton Center.
“We’ve learned that our customers really care about the arts,” says Amy Loizou, assistant director of marketing for F.H. Furr. “It’s very evident that F.H. Furr’s demographic lines up with an interest in the arts. And many of the people attending Hylton’s performances are our customers.”
Founded in 1981 by Floyd H. and Barbara Furr, the company has grown tremendously over the years, and now boasts more than 600 employees serving the entire D.C. metro area. Its other charitable priorities include veterans, children’s health, and youth sports.
“The Furrs, because they are local, are very invested in their community,” says Loizou. “It’s more personal for them—not just about our marketing efforts. That’s why we do so much with schools, with the military—because of Mr. Furr’s background. And we wanted to delve into the arts as well, because you don’t have a really well-rounded community without arts.”
That’s something Loizou, a former ballet dancer, knows from personal experience. As a member of the Asaph Dance Ensemble, she performed at the Hylton many times, typically each spring and Christmas season. “We danced there every single year for several years,” she recalls. “It’s definitely been my favorite theater to perform at.”
“We’ve really loved our experience with the Hylton. It’s a beautiful theater, and to have such a high caliber of performance venue here in Manassas, that’s a big reason that F.H. Furr appreciates it so much. It’s like a rare gem in the area.”
Rob Riordan, 9/23/21