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Our New Home2020-02-18T15:03:32+00:00

Our New Home

“This is the first step towards building a new home for the organization. The ArtsCenter needs a new space to provide more classes and programs for everyone in our community,” – Dan Mayer, Executive Director

The ArtsCenter is holding community meetings to discuss the plans for developing a site at 303 Jones Ferry Road. The ArtsCenter plans to build a new home across from OWASA near the intersection of Jones Ferry Road and Barnes Street. The parcel is currently vacant, but is proposed for a new facility for The ArtsCenter including studio and performance space as well as approximately 40 parking spaces.

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ArtsCenter Milestones

  • March 1975

    The ArtsCenter files Articles of Incorporation, and in November of 1976 receives its IRS determination letter certifying it as a tax-exempt organization.

  • 1979

    The ArtSchool moves from its loft space on Main Street to upstairs at the Carr Mill Mall. Over 500 hundred adults and children are enrolled in the Fall classes.

  • 1984

    The name of the school is changed to Center for Visual and Performing Arts (ArtSchool at Carrboro). A fundraising campaign to raise $500,000 is started that will allow for a move into the present space at 300 E. Main Street.

  • July 1987

    July 1st, the organization moves into its new renovated space at 300 E. Main Street. The name is officially changed to The ArtsCenter.

  • August 2015

    The ArtsCenter’s Board of Directors hires Dan Mayer to serve as Executive Director. Charged with creating financial stability and focusing on the future, Dan’s leadership has resulted in five years of balanced budgets and surpluses as well as a new strategic vision for The ArtsCenter’s future.

  • August 2017

    The ArtsCenter contracts with Gail Perry and Associates to conduct a campaign feasibility and planning study. The study, completed in February 2018, identified challenges and opportunities for The ArtsCenter to achieve a successful campaign to fund a new building. A plan was developed to address the challenges and position The ArtsCenter for fundraising success.

  • June 2018

    The ArtsCenter’s Board approves moving ahead with the building project and hires Madrock Advisors to provide expert guidance on site selection, choice of architect and engineer as well as contractor selection.

  • November 2018

    The ArtsCenter hires Fleming Samuels as new Development Director and creates an additional position for the Development office, increasing the organization’s capacity for fundraising.

  • December 2018

    The ArtsCenter sells its building at 300-G East Main Street and pays off its outstanding mortgage.

  • January 2019

    The ArtsCenter’s Board of Directors approves the purchase of a 1.3 acre site located on Jones Ferry Road in Carrboro.

  • February 2019

    The ArtsCenter names a building committee, chaired by Bruce Runberg and comprised of Board members and community leaders with expertise in civic construction management.

  • February 2019

    The ArtsCenter names a campaign committee for the early quiet phase.  Conversations for early lead gifts are accelerated following the purchase of the property. The solicitation of ArtsCenter Board members begins.

  • September 2019

    The ArtsCenter selects Clearscapes as the architects for the new building. This was the unanimous choice of the Board of Directors. During the same period, Coulter Jewell Thames was hired as the engineer for the project.

  • November 2019

    The ArtsCenter holds the first of several community input meetings to solicit feedback from stakeholders and community members.

  • December 2019

    The ArtsCenter receives a record-breaking $1.6 million gift from The Nicholson Foundation towards the construction of the new facility.

Count the Ways our new Facility Brings the Arts Home

  • Our vision is an accessible, inclusive space for self-expression, creative exploration and integration of the arts into all aspects of individual and community life. 
  • Our goal is to create a new home for The ArtsCenter that empowers these values and promotes participation in many forms of art for learners at all levels.
  • Our new facility will sustain and grow program opportunities at The ArtsCenter by exploring the intersection between art and nature, serving a more racially and economically diverse population, and improving access via public transit, supporting our role as a vital creative hub for our region.
  • The new facility provides the opportunity to custom-build a flexible performance space that incorporates best practices for an engaging welcoming venue
  • This new multi-use venue allows for flexible seating that can accommodate plays, concerts, lectures, movies, dance and performance art
  • The black box theater (def: a simple indoor performance space with plain black walls and a level floor, typically designed to provide flexibility in the configuration of the stage and the audience seating) will include updated lighting and sound and projection equipment that can accommodate a greater range of technical requirements for optimal audience experience

Youth Education is at the core of our programming and mission at The ArtsCenter.  Although many programs take place in schools, most take place at The ArtsCenter.  We celebrate the generations of learners that have participated in Youth programs at our present facility over the last 40 years and we see the new building as an opportunity to build on this legacy.

The new Youth Center will:

  • Have kid-friendly classrooms accommodating learners in grades K-12
  • Better meet increasing demand for ArtsCamp and AfterSchool programs
  • Create an ideal environment for youth arts learning experiences

The ArtsCenter’s new facility will prominently feature a maker space: a unique laboratory that is being designed by artists, for artists. In addition to being used for classes, this maker space will be accessible to the public. Our goal is to have a lab where artists familiar with traditional forms can use cutting-edge technology to enhance their creative potential by combining new tools with their existing knowledge base. We are working with our partners at UNC to design a space that is not just about the equipment, but about creating an environment where artists can use these new tools to create new artistic forms and enhance their practice.

  • We are creating templates of how 3D printing can be used by ceramists to create models and molds for new work
  • We are talking with craft artists about how a variety of laser cutters could be used to create patterns and increase precision in production
  • We are meeting with fabric artists to discuss how CAD software and digital sewing machines can be used in fashion design and help with product design and production
  • We are learning about AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) and how they can be used by illustrators and cartoonists to build 3D models and create immersive content and audience experiences

Our new home will enable us to extend our vision to include the intersection between art and nature.  The 1.3 acre site includes a wooded area and stream that will parallel the building and provide:

  • Opportunities for a play area for youth
  • An outdoor classroom where visual artists can practice plein air painting or botanical illustration
  • A laboratory to explore how the arts are inspired by nature and scientific principles, and how our perceptions of nature can be informed by the arts
  • Opportunities for dialogue about our role as artists and citizens in understanding and protecting our environment

The ArtsCenter has always been a lively place operating year-round, seven days a week—a home where people come together to enjoy and participate in music, dance, theater, digital arts, ceramics and fabric arts, and the intersections between these disciplines.  It is a place where people can express themselves, feel connected and engaged.

  • The new site provides the organization an opportunity to flourish as a community center for the arts. Our new location on Jones Ferry Road is close to a moderate-income neighborhood that is the heart of Carrboro’s Latino community. This location enables The ArtsCenter to create a stronger bond with the Latino community and practice the principles of diversity and inclusion that are essential to the work we do every day.
  • The new location is on a major bus line and a highway linking Chatham, Orange and Durham counties. This makes the site conveniently accessible to patrons from all over our region. Our programs currently attract audience from every county in North Carolina, as well as beyond our state, and this new location will support our role as an essential regional center where artists of all ages, skill levels, and interests can build their skills and participate in the arts.