The art scene around Lake Norman has become vibrant. Whether it’s a weekend ’Tawba Walk, exhibition at Davidson College or a jaunt into one of Main Street’s many galleries, the area is experiencing an arts renaissance.
The folks at the nonprofit Community Arts Project remember a different backdrop when they were a fledgling organization back in 1998. For over 15 years, they’ve watched Lake Norman grow.
They’ve grown along with it, offering premiere programming in art, ceramics, summer camps and mobile events.
After being housed in the Cornelius Arts Center through a partnership with the Town of Cornelius for the last five years, CAP is planning to move and expand their visual arts operations into a new facility.
On April 11 at Fresh Market in Cornelius, CAP will be hosting its 6th annual Taste of Art fundraiser, with proceeds going toward a new space.
The Community Arts Project has provided programming such as ceramics, painting, and printmaking for all ages, from youth up to senior citizen.
CAP executive director Cathy Templeton said the classes build a sense of camaraderie among those who take them. “Our students tend to build relationships and a community of their own. And the products that come out as a result are amazing,” she said.
“We’ve always been about art within reach, and we mean that physically, as with our kids, and economically as well. We don’t want anyone to feel intimidated by art,” Templeton said.
In addition to classes as varied as preschool drop-in art to Coffee, Croissants and Crafts for seniors, CAP has introduced summer camps, birthday parties, a mobile art program within the community, and offered scholarships and outreach programs.
“Something for everyone,” said Templeton. The nonprofit has worked hard to keep the education level high and the costs low.
Now, as they search for a new facility, they recognize that fundraising is more important than ever. With it, they hope to expand offerings, develop a membership program, provide studio space for artists, sell local art and create opportunities for outreach. In addition to their capital campaign, they are looking for sponsorships and partnerships with local businesses and assistance with grant writing and research, as well as board members.
“We’ve been around for 15 years, and the quality and uniqueness of our programming will continue, no matter what building we’re in,” Templeton said.
Amy Reiss is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Amy? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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