About The ArtsCenter
The ArtsCenter is a 501(c)(3) Arts Education non-profit located in Carrboro, North Carolina which offers classes, performances, and art exhibits all year round. The ArtsCenter facilities include a 350-seat theater, classrooms, a dance studio, a 100-seat performance space, and an art gallery. The ArtsCenter is the single largest employer of artists in Orange County, and serves more than 100,000 students and citizens throughout the area.
The ArtsCenter exists in order to educate and inspire artistic creativity and to enrich the lives of people of all ages. The vision of The ArtsCenter is to create an educational environment that provides opportunities, inspiration and tools to people of all ages and skill levels to participate in the arts.
The ArtsCenter, originally known as ‘ArtsSchool’ was founded in 1974 by artist Jacques Menache. Menache found inspiration for the ArtsSchool from his time living in Mexico City, where he found many multidisciplinary cultural institutes. During this time, Carrboro did not have as much of a strong artistic presence as it does today. Carrboro was seen as more of an industrial town. “There was a need in the community for cultural arts,” said Menache. Menache recognized the need for a space which could meet the needs of the artists in the community and shape the cultural climate of the town.
Menache rented a space on the second floor of present-day Armadillo Grill on Main St in Carrboro and organized classes for students. After opening the ArtsSchool, Menache advertised drawing and painting classes in the local paper. Soon after, Menache realized that the space he rented could be used for more than just drawing and painting classes. “The room was beautiful and had wooden floors,” says Menache, “so I had the floors refinished and started teaching dance classes, doing a little performing, and then pretty soon, people wanted to do theater in the space.” In time, Menache imagined that the walls in the space were “great for a little gallery”, and he began to host art openings. Later, Menache began projecting films in the back office.
“In the first 3 years, ‘74-’77, we were showing movies and having little dance performances, teaching classes in several disciplines, having concerts, and it snowballed. I ended up renting the whole upstairs and started teaching more classes. I put in a little art supply store for the students who came for drawing, and built a darkroom and started teaching photography” says Menache. By 1979, the ArtsSchool had over 300 students.
In 1979, As the ArtsSchool continued to expand, Menache raised the necessary funds to relocate across the street to Carr Mill Mall. As the ArtsSchool relocated, Menache changed the name to The ArtsCenter, to reflect the growth in space and diversity of programs. As well as a strong visual arts program, the organization included space for various performance arts, concerts, films, and poetry readings.
Eventually, the owner of Carr Mill Mall passed away. When a new owner bought Carr Mill, Menache decided to relocated once again. Menache saw that the Piggly Wiggly Supermarket across the street was about to close down and inquired about renting the space. After raising the funds, was able to secure a space in the old supermarket. This 20,000 sq. foot location was renovated and remains the location of the ArtsCenter today.
Some claim that the ArtsCenter contributed greatly to the artistic atmosphere in present-day Carrboro. Others claim that the ArtsCenter came at a time when there was already a catalyst for artistic growth. Some examples of this include the fact that big businesses and retailers were discouraged from opening in Carrboro, which contributed to a small-business and homegrown atmosphere.
ext. 217, dmayer (at) artscenterlive.org
ext. 208, jhartley (at) artscenterlive.org
Youth Education Coordinator
ext. 204, jhollars (at) artscenterlive.org
Box Office Manager
boxofficemanager (at) artscenterlive.org
ext. 219, marketing (at) artscenterlive.org
ext. 206, nrambaldi (at) artscenterlive.org
ext. 213, fsamuels (at) artscenterlive.org
ext. 214, gspikes (at) artscenterlive.org
ext. 205, dstark (at) artscenterlive.org
ext. 211, lweller (at) artscenterlive.org
Michael Frisch is an innovative and energetic leader with the proven ability to analyze businesses, services, operations, markets and growth opportunities and then introduce strategic and tactical solutions that improve competitive performance. He has spent ~35 years in the healthcare field working with dental practice management, radiology, radiation therapy and out-patient surgery companies. For the past 20 years, Michael has been part of senior and executive leader teams guiding these organizations. Additionally, during his time as an executive leader, Michael has overseen 20 acquisitions and 5 spin-offs.
Michael holds a BA in Economics from the university of Illinois and a MBA from DePaul University. For the past four years, Michael has devoted his energy to working as a pro-bono consultant with non-profits in the Triangle area. Since joining ESC three years ago, Michael’s area of focus has been organizational assessment, strategic planning, Board development and operational efficiency. Additionally, he has been a key presenter in the ESC Board Leadership Bootcamp series.
Jean Hamilton is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has a private psychotherapy and counseling practice in Chapel Hill, teaches mindfulness meditation classes, and works part-time at the UNCG student counseling center. She has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before becoming a social worker, Jean received a PhD in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley and worked as an assistant professor of economics in California. She also worked as a public health researcher on issues facing young children in North Carolina and California.
Jean is a regular participant in the Triangle Insight Meditation Community, a member of the NAACP, and a volunteer in local politics. She served on the Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools Board of Education for five years and served on the Board of Directors of Women AdvaNCe for four years.
Dan Krebill was born in Muscatine, Iowa and raised in Keokuk, Iowa. He previously spent nearly 24 years in the Army working in various positions in Information Technology. He has an undergraduate degree from West Point, and went on to get graduate degrees in both Computer Science and International Strategic Studies. While in graduate school, Dan worked on designs to expand the ARPANET, which he later went on to implement for Army bases in Europe. That infrastructure evolved to become known as the Internet, and he traveled extensively during his Army career serving in Korea, Germany and Italy, and last worked as a Professor of Systems Management at the National Defense University in Washington D.C.
Since retirement and moving to Chapel Hill in 1997, he’s been active in the local arts, crafts and music scenes. He has helped some struggling local artists to acquire equipment and materials to further their passion in the arts. Dan spends much of his free time constructing a surrealist Zen Garden at his home in Chapel Hill, and frequently hosts large gatherings there to benefit great causes in the area, especially The ArtsCenter. Dan has served over 11 years on its Board of Directors.
Michael G. Parker is a Managing Partner and founder of BioAsset Advisors. Michael has nearly 30 years of experience assisting organizations in Health Care and Life Sciences improve performance and realize value from their assets. Michael’s work has focused assisting clients with issues related to product, marketing, and competitive strategy; business development, including both in- and out-licensing; opportunity and technology assessments; and R&D strategy and portfolio management.
Prior to founding BioAsset Advisors, Michael was a Director and office leader at Bionest Partners; an Associate Partner at Monitor Group; Vice President, Health Care and Life Sciences at Razorfish; a Partner at KPMG Consulting, Vice President at The Cybertec Consulting Group, a planning analyst at Mount Sinai Medical Center, and an analyst at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Michael is also active in community affairs. In addition to serving as the treasurer of The Arts Center, he is a member of the Chapel Hill Town Council. He previously served on the Chapel Hill Planning Commission and the Boards of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce and the U.N. International School in New York City.
Michael has an MBA from Baruch College, graduate training in Neurobiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a BA in Biology from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Dr. Bernadette Pelissier
Bernadette Pelissier was born in Senegal, Africa of French parents. She came to the U.S. as an infant and spent most of her childhood in New Jersey. In her early teen years she lived in Damascus, Syria when her father worked for the United Nations.
She came to Chapel Hill in 1975 to study at UNC and received her Ph.D. in Sociology in 1980. Bernadette’s career focused on the evaluation of mental health programs in community and prison settings. She first spent five years in research and evaluation at the Durham County Community Mental Health Center. She subsequently became Chief of Research at the Federal Correctional Institution in Butner and retired in 2006. She directed a multi-center national project evaluating drug treatment programs.
Dr. Pelissier served on eight boards and commissions before her election to the Orange County Board of Commissioners in December 2008. She served two terms on the board and is transitioning to blueberry farming in Cedar Grove. Bernadette plans to grow additional fruit crops to help supply the micro-winery being started by her son and daughter on the family farm.
Mary Carter Taub
- The ArtsCenter Annual Report 2015
- The ArtsCenter Annual Report 2016
- The ArtsCenter Annual Report 2017
Visitor Info & Accessibility
Box Office Hours
Monday through Friday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday hours are subject to change depending on the events schedule)
The ArtsCenter is closed for the following Holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Good Friday
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day & the day after
- Christmas Day
If a holiday falls on a Saturday, we observe it the previous Friday. If it falls on a Sunday, we observe it the following Monday.
The ArtsCenter is committed to embracing the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974 in order to make access and inclusion in the arts an everyday practice in our facility. Upon request, The ArtsCenter will provide accommodation towards individuals with disabilities, ensuring an optimal experience for all visitors.
Plenty of parking is available! You may park directly in front of the ArtsCenter or in the new parking deck directly (to the east) behind the Hampton Inn. The lot and deck are free with unlimited time restrictions on weeknights after 5:30pm and all day on the weekends. Monday through Friday the lot and deck, while still free, are restricted to 3 hour limits between the hours of 8am – 5:30pm. If you are visiting The ArtsCenter and plan on staying for more than 3 hours, you may pick up a temporary parking pass from our box office attendant.
Rent The ArtsCenter
The ArtsCenter’s theaters, studios, and gallery are available for your event.
We offer a variety of space options that cater to nearly any type of function: concerts, theater events, dances, video & photo shoots, birthday parties, graduation ceremonies, business/ organizational meetings, seminars, rehearsals, University functions…you name it! We invite you to let us assist in making your function the best it can be.
Please contact Jenks Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org for information regarding rates and availability.
The Wynn Theater
The Earl & Rhoda Wynn Theater is a 355 seat room with 499 (standing room only) potential. It features a 32’x28′ stage, triangular 40’x30′ dance floor, full P.A., stage lighting and a permanently mounted 12×12′ film screen with projector. This venue is ideal for large scale events and meetings.
The Nicholson Gallery
The Nicholson Gallery is the perfect reception area to accommodate any function. The high ceiling, sky lighting, and artwork adorning the walls add to the allure of the space.
AfterSchool Arts Immersion Teaching Artists
A “residency” is a two-week teaching session that runs Monday-Friday, 3:15-5:45 PM. This allows for about 15 minutes of set-up time prior to teaching, and 15 minutes of clean-up time afterwards.
Instructors will work with three groups of students each day (group size ranges from 10-20 students). Groups are usually divided by grade level (K-1, 2-3, and 4-5). Participants are required to attend at least 3 days a week, and some attend every day. Instructors will be assisted by one AAI staff member each day.
Before designing your residency, please look over the following elements of our program we’d like to emphasize:
- STEAM connections(science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) – We’d like to include several STEAM-focused residencies each semester.
- Movement – various styles of dance, music-making, and theatre
- Use of technology – our digital studio (8 computers) can be used with small groups for digital music production, photography, simple photo editing, video and audio recording, etc.
- Large scale collaborative projects – bring us your ideas and we’ll talk about how to make it happen!
- Links to art history & theory – showing photos/film, reading biography excerpts, placing art styles/movements into historical context
- Fostering an understanding and appreciation of environment & culture (one’s own and others)
- Character Education – Artistic activities that center kindness, respect, anti-bullying, self-confidence, communication, etc.
Instructors interested in teaching a residency during the upcoming school year should fill out this form completely. Incomplete proposals will not be considered. If you are proposing two very different residencies, you may fill out this form twice. Each instructor will be limited to a maximum of 2 residencies per school year.
Elf Market Vendors
The Elf Market is The ArtsCenter’s annual holiday craft market which takes place on the first Saturday in December. Vendors from Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and the Triangle area gather to sell handmade goods such as clothing, body products, food items, fine art, children’s toys, ceramic pieces, and jewelry. The bar will be open, and there will be hands-on craft activities for children and their families. Elf Market is the place to shop local for your holiday gifts on Small Business Saturday this year! This event is family-friendly and free to attend.
For more information and vendor application, visit The ArtsCenter’s Elf Market page.