The Arts Council of Wayne County is looking for a new home.
A nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, the Arts Council of Wayne County has been in operation since 1963. It moved into its current location on the corner of John and Walnut streets in 2011, and has been an anchor business during downtown Goldsboro’s revitalization and growth.
“We will not have an opportunity to renew our lease, which will terminate effective August 31, 2021, but we are asking for an extension to get us through at least the end of this year,” said Georgia Dees, executive director of the Arts Council. “While moving may take a great deal of effort and money, our board of directors and staff believe this will prove to be a step in a new, positive direction for our organization, and we’re looking forward to what this next chapter will bring.”
In its current space, which totals about 10,000 square feet on two floors, the Arts Council operates a retail store, The Art Market, which sells items created by mostly local artists, hosts exhibitions and events in its two galleries, houses its permanent art collection for the public to enjoy, rents nine studio spaces to individual artists, teaches private music lessons, and offers art camps and classes for all ages year round. The Arts Council mission is to keep the arts thriving throughout Wayne County.
“We are grateful for the time we’ve had here and for the support we’ve received from such a diverse segment of our population,” Dees said. “We’ve been able to partner with and help local artists, host spectacular visual and live art events, and come together as a community painting murals, broadening our community’s vision, encouraging creativity, and exposing residents to cultural offerings they otherwise would not have experienced in Wayne County.”
The Arts Council also attracts visitors from outside Wayne County, providing a boost to the local economy. An Arts Council event in July drew attendance from Virginia, Raleigh and Charleston, S.C. Those people stayed in local hotels and private rental spaces and dined in local restaurants.
While the Arts Council would like to remain downtown, it will consider all options.
“Ultimately, we will do what is best for our budget and our current operational needs,” Dees said. “Wherever we land, we will be an organization the community can count on to help make this a better place to live. We know the arts are a stimulus for economic growth, as well as therapeutic for mental health. Our board and staff are committed to ensuring the Arts Council of Wayne County will continue to play an integral role in the success of our community.”