The ArtsCenter will relocate to 400 Roberson St. once the facility’s remodel is complete
By Sam Edge
The ArtsCenter has come a long way since Jacques Menache founded what was then called ArtsSchool in 1974. He rented space on the second floor of the present-day Armadillo Grill. In 1988, the venue found a worthy home in the 20,000-square foot site of the old Piggly Wiggly supermarket. It is there that The ArtsCenter has spent the last 3 ½ decades becoming the multidisciplinary center for education that is so important to the community. However, in June 2023, the center will be moving again to a new home at 400 Roberson St. to continue its mission under Executive Director Jenny Shultz-Thomas, who started in July.
The ceramic studio will be three times the size of the current space, while the painting studio will have natural light streaming in. According to Marketing Director Lynn Lee, the location will feature a number of technological advancements that The ArtsCenter team is excited to incorporate into their programs and classes. “There will be makerspaces with new technologies like laser cutters, 3D printers and green screens,” Lynn says. “Classes for both adults and youth will build on these new technologies along with dance, theater work and nature-based classes that can be held outside.” There are currently nine full-time staff members, but the team anticipates that new hires will be necessary as programs and classes grow after the grand opening currently slated for early summer.
1979 The ArtSchool moves from its loft space on Main Street to upstairs at Carr Mill Mall. More than 500 adults and children enroll in the fall classes.
The name of the school is changed to Center for Visual and Performing Arts.
1987 On July 1, the organization moves into its newly renovated space at 300 E. Main St. The name is officially changed to The ArtsCenter.
2019 The quiet phase of the capital campaign for a new home for The ArtsCenter begins, and it receives a record-breaking $1.6 million gift from The Nicholson Foundation toward the construction of a new facility.