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Dave Chappelle to Turn Firehouse into Comedy Space


FILE - In this Oct. 27, 2019 file photo, Dave Chappelle is honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)
Dave Chappelle to Turn Firehouse into Comedy Space
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Award-winning American comedian and actor Dave Chappelle is set to buy a former fire station near his Ohio hometown. He plans to turn it into a space where other comedians can perform live shows.

The Miami Township Fire Station will be sold to Chappelle’s company. It is situated in the town of Yellow Springs, Ohio, where Chappelle lives. His future comedy club will seat 140 people, the Dayton Daily News reported.

The closing date for the sale is set for early 2021, said Lisa Abel. She is president of the Yellow Springs Development Corporation, which is carrying out the sale.

Corrie Van Ausdal is a board member of the corporation. She said the Yellow Springs company wanted a buyer who would breathe life into the station.

“We think this will bring a new class of jobs to town,” Van Ausdal said. “We also considered that (Chappelle) is a minority business owner,” she added. Chappelle has a “history of employing minorities,” she said, and is firm about supporting the voices of people of color.

Chappelle’s ties to Ohio go back to his father. William David Chappelle studied at Antioch College, a private liberal arts school in Yellow Springs. Later, he became a professor there. Chappelle lives with his family outside the village and also owns homes in the nearby town of Xenia.

In June, Chappelle held a private, outdoor social commentary performance on his property in Yellow Springs. Attendees were socially distant and wore facial coverings. The event was filmed and later released on the video streaming service Netflix under the name “8:46.” The number refers to the police killing last year of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A police officer named Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes straight, killing the man. The event led to months of demonstrations against police abuse of Black and brown people.

Chappelle is best known for his television comedy program, Chappelle's Show. He is also a highly respected live comedy performer. His shows often examine race and gender issues with humor.

In 2019, he received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The award goes to people who have influenced American society in ways similar to Mark Twain, the 19th-century American writer.

I’m Alice Bryant.

The Associated Press reported this story. Alice Bryant adapted the story and added biographical information. Caty Weaver was the editor.

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Words in This Story

comedy – n. things that are done and said to make an audience laugh

club – n. a business that provides entertainment (such as music or a show) and that usually serves alcohol

minority – n. a group of people who are different from the larger group in a country, area, etc., in some way

kneel – v. to move your body so that one or both of your knees are on the floor

gender – n. the state of being male or female

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