Wolf Trap Sues Small Town Arts Center, Demands Name Change
BERRYVILLE, VA. (WUSA) - Chip Schutte grew up in Berryville and says these barns has been fixtures in the town. The 100 year old dairy barns have been refurbished and turned into a new community Arts Center called the Barns of Rose Hill. The name came from Rosalie McCormick, the daughter of a Virginia Senator who owned the property.
But that name is now the target of a lawsuit by the Wolf Trap Foundation, which says it's too similar to its Barns of Wolf Trap.
"Our barns have been here for more than a century. Our community has a deep emotional attached to the name. We don't think we should have to change it," says Ann Lesman, Chair of the Barns of Rose Hill Board. She says they first they heard from Wolf Trap was a few days after their week-long grand opening in September.
"When I told people we were being sued by Wolf Trap they thought it was a joke," says Lesman.
Since the news broke, people have expressed their opinions on social media sites. One person even started a Facebook page called "Big Bad Wolf Trap Bully."
"I really do no think we're a threat to Wolf Trap," says Interim Executive Director Susi Bailey.
Lesman says they can't possibly fight the lawsuit on their $150,000 budget with a nearly entirely volunteer staff. But they don't plan to willingly change their name.
Wolf Trap Foundation CEO Terry Jones says the problem is not only that the Barns of Rose Hill is a similar name but also offers the same art and education programs that Wolf Trap provides. He says he wants to encourage the arts in Clarke County and hopes they can resolve the situation amicably.
They have a meeting set up on Monday to see if there might be a compromise.