Does art matter? According to the members of Mint Hill Arts, the answer is a resounding “yes!”
Mint Hill Arts president Laura Sussman-Randall says art is essential for both communities and individuals. She says a cultural presence raises the visibility of a community and helps economically by bringing in visitors who will spend their money.
For children, studies show a direct correlation between art participation and academic proficiency, and art serves as a great confidence builder, she says.
For adults, art is a way to relieve stress, gain a sense of accomplishment and provide a source of social connection.
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Mint Hill is fortunate to have Mint Hill Arts to help bring those benefits and more to the growing town.
Made up of a group of local dedicated artists, Mint Hill Arts has grown from a handful of folks in 2005 to more than 135 members today.
The group has gone from meeting around a dining room table discussing the town's proposed Cultural Action Plan to boasting its own classroom and gallery space in the Grace Building at 7714 Matthews-Mint Hill Road. In September, the members will celebrate their one-year anniversary there.
All the artists are dedicated to sharing their love and expertise of art in the community by offering gallery crawls, exhibitions and classes for all ages.
Currently, the primary focus is on visual arts, but Sussman-Randall says the vision is to one day become a full-service center for the arts.
Mint Hill Arts is now collaborating with other cultural organizations in town, including the Mint Hill Historical Society, the Children's Museum, the Public Library and the Mint Hill Scottish Society to create a cultural district in Mint Hill's downtown.
Those groups are also working together to produce Discover Mint Hill – a part of the Arts & Science Council's Cultural Free For All that will be held Sept. 20.