Nurturing creativity for a
brighter tomorrow

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 provide opportunities, inspirations, and tools to people of all ages and skill levels to participate in the arts.

The ArtsCenter is a place of belonging, a space where inspiration is drawn not just from art, but from the vibrant energy and creative spirit of those around us. We strive to make art accessible, relatable, and engaging for all, ensuring our programs and initiatives reflect our deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusivity.

The ArtsCenter’s History

Our colorful legacy of artistic celebration

Since its inception in 1974, The ArtsCenter has been a thriving hub of artistic discovery in Carrboro, North Carolina and wider Triangle community. Through the years, we have transformed from a modest community arts center into a regional lighthouse of creative inspiration, enriching countless lives with our pioneering programs, performances, and events.

The ArtsCenter, initially known as 'ArtsSchool,' was founded by artist Jacques Menache in 1974. Drawing inspiration from the multifaceted cultural institutions in Mexico City, Menache identified a need for a creative sanctuary in Carrboro, then primarily an small mill town.

Beginning with a rented space on Main Street, Menache organized an array of art classes and events, rapidly growing the student body to over 300 by 1979. After relocating to Carr Mill Mall and rebranding as The ArtsCenter, the organization expanded to encompass a variety of arts disciplines, concerts, and poetry readings.

As the need for a permanent home emerged, Menache secured a 20,000-square-foot facility in a former supermarket, where The ArtsCenter resided until 2023. Now, we embark on a new chapter in our modern, state-of-the-art facility at 400 Roberson Street, heralding the next 50 years of artistic excellence. 

This new ArtsCenter will stand as a beacon of creative expression, conveniently located within walking distance of downtown shops, eateries, the new Orange County library, and more. With ample parking, we can better serve visitors from all 100 NC counties and beyond, inviting tourists and locals to immerse themselves in The ArtsCenter experience and explore the wonders of Carrboro. We take pride in our achievements and the influence we have had on the community, and we eagerly look forward to nurturing creativity and fostering lifelong learning at our new location for years to come.

Meet our team

Our talented and dedicated team members are the driving force behind The ArtsCenter's success. With a wealth of experience and a shared passion for the arts, they work tirelessly to create enriching, transformative experiences for our community. Get to know the creative minds behind The ArtsCenter below!
Photo of Wendy Smith

Wendy Smith

Executive Director

EMAIL:
wsmith@artscenterlive.org
PHONE:
9845004523

Wendy Smith (she/her), an Orange county native, was born into a family of creatives. Having graduated college with a BA in Art History, she naturally grew into a career which celebrated artists and their missions. Her first job was managing and then owning Cameron’s, a funky, local gift gallery which featured the work of artists far and near. After over 25 years in retail, she turned towards the non-profit arts sector, specifically development, where she continued to support artists by raising funds for organizations whose missions provided them crucial services and opportunities. Throughout her career, she served on several local boards and has built a reputation as a compassionate and engaged leader in her community who strives to inspire innovation and growth. She is grateful for the opportunities The ArtsCenter provided her children, Ivy and Duncan, both of whom have chosen creative paths and are living lives full of artful experiences. 

Photo of Munsie Davis

Munsie Davis

Venue Relations Manager

EMAIL:
mdavis@artscenterlive.org
PHONE:
9845004500

Munsie Davis (she/her), with a penchant for creating awe-inspiring events, has dedicated over two decades to the performing and healing arts. Her passion lies in crafting experiences that connect audiences with something greater than themselves, drawing her towards music for its ability to communicate beyond words. Munsie believes in the universal language of tones, resonating directly with the heart. Her diverse interest spans world music, from Cuban salsa to Japanese Shakuhachi and Indian Classical Music. Her notable career includes managing BUFFA, the educational touring program of the Virginia Opera, serving as the Business Manager for the British American Theater Institute of Santa Fe, and working as a Publicist for the Music Of The World record label. To unwind she enjoys playing the tanpura, , a drone made from a huge pumpkin gourd.

Photo of Caroline Haller

Caroline Haller

Gallery Manager

EMAIL:
challer@artscenterlive.org
PHONE:
984-459-2998

Caroline Haller (she/her) is deeply passionate about art history and its lessons for contemporary society. Her enthusiasm is not just confined to the academic realm; she eagerly seeks to facilitate the display of art in various forms, driven by a strong interest in the stories of artists and a commitment to education and learning opportunities. Caroline’s academic prowess is evident from her successful defense of her Master’s Thesis in Art History. Moreover, she serves as the President of the Board of Directors for “Weapons of Light,” a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation aiding the Bethlehem House of Bread Orphanage and Old Persons’ home in India. A quirky aspect of her personality is her love for Nancy Drew, as reflected in her extensive collection of these classic detective novels.

Photo of Lynn Lee

Lynn Lee

Marketing Director

EMAIL:
llee@artscenterlive.org
PHONE:
984-500-5253

Lynn Lee, with a career spanning over 10 years in marketing, has worked with both startups and large corporations, showcasing his adaptability and expertise in the field. His life is centered around his love for family, dogs, and an impressive collection of 150 house plants, a hobby he developed during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Lynn, who recently moved from Chicago to Carrboro, is also an avid learner with keen interests in politics and current events. His approach to life and work is deeply rooted in continuous learning and nurturing growth, both in his professional environment and personal interests.

Photo of Rachel Manconi

Rachel Manconi

Development and Marketing Manager

EMAIL:
rmanconi@artscenterlive.org
PHONE:
9845003736

Art has always been a huge part of my life, and my viewpoint that art is for and should be accessible to everyone has guided me to work in the nonprofit arts for over ten years. One of my favorite pastimes is exploring the different forms and materials of art, leading to a variety of works in my portfolio and fun life experiences, such as my photography being featured as the cover photo for Irish short fiction writer and poet Nuala Ní Chonchúir’s book “Nude” and a permanent installation of yarn bombs in The Scrap Exchange’s thrift store. In my spare time, I enjoy living my best spooky life with my husband, Josh, whom I married on Halloween in 2019, helping to spoil our beloved rescued senior black cat, Satriani, and spending time with family and friends.

Photo of Rachel Pottern Nunn

Rachel Pottern Nunn

Director, ArtSchool

EMAIL:
rpnunn@artscenterlive.org
PHONE:
9845003747

Rachel Pottern Nunn (she/her) is an actor, director, and arts administrator from Raleigh, NC who is passionate about making the arts accessible to all and helping to sustain artists in creative careers. She holds an MFA in Arts Leadership from Virginia Tech and has worked with a variety of arts organizations across the country, including Alternate ROOTS, The Taubman Museum of Art, Theatre Raleigh, College Light Opera Company, Honest Pint Theatre Company, and more. She dabbles in watercolor and pencil, is certified in three different forms of stage combat, and (randomly) knows a lot about native plants.

Photo of Tracy Francis

Tracy Francis

Production Manager

EMAIL:
tfrancis@artscenterlive.org
PHONE:

Tracy (He/Him) has always been motivated by stimulating arts and educational programming that inspires audiences of all backgrounds and has been fortunate to have played a part in creating such magic professionally for many years. Tracy serves as longtime Production Manager for Mike Wiley Productions, in addition to production and presenting capacities for the ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC, and as showcase production manager with the NC Presenters Consortium’s ArtsMarket conference. Tracy has worked as a Production Manager with organizations including Lotto World Theme Parks in South Korea and Taiwan; with Fiesta Texas Theme Park in Texas; national Broadway tours with Producer Manny Azenberg; with the American Gladiators, and as Production Stage Manager with PlayMakers Repertory Company at UNC-Chapel Hill. Tracy is a native North Carolinian and holds a Master’s Degree in Communication Studies from his beloved UNC. Along with his wife Stephanie, he is the proud parent of daughter Alexa who’ll be playing soccer with the UNC-Asheville Bulldogs in 2024.

Photo of Annalise Bocko

Annalise Bocko

Director of Youth Education Programs

EMAIL:
abocko@artscenterlive.org
PHONE:
(919) 929-2787

Annalise Bocko (she/her), an advocate for inclusive community spaces, is dedicated to creating environments where children and families of diverse ages and backgrounds can learn and grow safely. With a strong passion for catering to the needs of all students, especially those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Annalise recently completed her Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language (K-12). Her academic journey included a unique opportunity to research in Germany, exploring the techniques German schools employ for students who immigrated there. Outside her professional life, Annalise enjoys competitive ultimate frisbee, proudly playing for one of the top 10 women’s teams in the country.

Photo of Tyler Dennis

Tyler Dennis

Associate Director, ArtSchool | Makerspace

EMAIL:
tdennis@artscenterlive.org
PHONE:

Tyler Dennis (he/they) is a passionate advocate for creativity and continuous learning. He enjoys learning about diverse tools, skills, and hobbies to empower others in a safe and effective manner, fostering a collaborative environment where everyone can learn, create, and thrive. He is honored to have the opportunity to pursue his dream of creating a community makerspace here at the Arts Center, and is looking forward to making things with you!

Photo of Anne Waters

Anne Waters

Development Director

EMAIL:
awaters@artscenterlive.org
PHONE:
919-825-0627

A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Anne Waters cut her creative teeth at the Arkansas Arts Center (now Arkansas Fine Arts Museum), where she took dance, painting, ceramics, and performed as a Munchkin in the Wizard of Oz. In 2005 she resigned from her job as VP of Sales and Marketing at John F. Blair, Publisher, in Winston-Salem, to stay home with her newborn son, and shortly thereafter moved to Salisbury, where she purchased the Green Goat Gallery and opened the Blue Ewe Yoga Studio in nearby Spencer, NC. In 2013 she moved to Spartanburg, SC, where she and her husband Andrew raised their son Elias, and she served as ED of the Hub City Writers Project and taught at Yogalicious Yoga Studio. She is delighted to be back on terra rosa in NC, working at The ArtsCenter as development director.

Photo of Taryn Revoir

Taryn Revoir

Ceramics Studio Coordinator

EMAIL:
trevoir@artscenterlive.org
PHONE:

Taryn Revoir cares about building community through experiential education and art making. Creating pottery is not a solitary act. The power of clay comes from the necessity to rely on and work with community. The science, labor, learning curves and creativity necessary to build a studio takes so much collaboration. Taryn is inspired by potters, especially community studio potters, who work together to make sure everyone can produce the best ceramics they can. At UNC- Chapel Hill, Taryn studied Human Development, Critical Theory in Literature and Studio Art.  Taryn believes in using an interdisciplinary and environmentalist approach for all things in life, especially art-making. 

Photo of Kiara Franklin

Kiara Franklin

Youth Programs Coordinator

EMAIL:
kfranklin@artscenterlive.org
PHONE:

Kiara Franklin (she/her) an Atlanta, “Grady baby” native, raised by a local motivational speaker, poet, and author led to a deep-seated passion for community and storytelling.

Graduating from Georgia Southern University with a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Communications and a minor in Art and Theater, Kiara embarked on a journey in California’s production and animation industry. Here, she championed Inclusion and Diversity efforts, refining her communication and organizational skills.

However, Kiara’s heart remained rooted in community engagement, leading her to her current role as Youth Coordinator at the ArtsCenter. Here, she merges her love for storytelling with her dedication to empowering young minds, creating spaces for creativity and belonging. Beyond her professional endeavors, Kiara finds joy in dance, escape rooms, and murder mystery games.

Kiara’s journey shows her influence to community building and creative expression, guided by a profound belief in the transformative power of storytelling.

Young woman smiling twirling paint brush in her hair with a cool wavy rainbow design element as its background

Join Our Creative Family

At The ArtsCenter, we're always on the lookout for talented, passionate individuals who share our vision of empowering communities through the arts. Join our team and experience a fulfilling, dynamic work environment where you can make a lasting impact on the lives of others.
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“Imagine More”
for our community

Contribute to our
new home
Join us in creating a world where everyone has access to the transformative power of the arts by supporting our move to a brand new home. Your donation will help us continue to provide exceptional arts education and community engagement opportunities for the next 50 years. Let's imagine more for our Orange County community, by building a better space for creativity and lifelong learning.
Help us imagine more
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