HENDERSON — The Vance County Arts Council is making good use of its new home in the Old Municipal Building at 110 Young St. after receiving approval to move in earlier this month.
Executive Director Alice Sallins said that the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Arts Council to search for a new location but she is thankful that the organization is now able to call a portion of the Old Municipal Building home for the time being.
“We’re grateful to the city for allowing us to use this space,” Sallins said.
The Arts Council had called the building at 233 S. Garnett St. home for more than 10 years but social distancing guidelines meant that Sallins and her staff could no longer effectively conduct operations in such a tight space.
Sallins requested to move into the Old Municipal Building on a one-year lease that would go from month-to-month afterward. The lease allows the Arts Council to use 1,170 square feet of the building that includes the renovated portion along with 492 square feet of support space.
Art displays and office space encompass the remainder of the 678 square feet available for the Arts Council. The other 4,720 square feet of the Old Municipal Building cannot be used by the Arts Council.
Along with agreeing that the lease agreement come at no cost, Sallins and the Arts Council also have access to support grants for local artists that can be utilized for building murals along certain themes.
These grants will be provided on a matching basis and can be used by the Henderson Vance Downtown Development Commission. A $5,000 grant can be reserved by the Arts Council for this purpose and is subject to funding availability by the state.
Now that Sallins has been able to properly relocate the Arts Council on an interim basis, she is proceeding with organizing shows in a way that can showcase the talents of local artists in a manner that is safe.
“The Performing Arts Center is recording shows for us,” Sallins said. “Those videos end up on Vimeo and YouTube but with some shows, we have our artists come to the gallery, record them live and then put them on Facebook Live.”
In some instances, Sallins said the Arts Council takes artists directly to apartments when it comes to programs for children, adding that she and her staff intend to venture around different areas in Vance County during the coming months.
Sallins said that the Arts Council is going to stay busy for the foreseeable future and is excited to kick off the organization’s new era at the Old Municipal Building with projects and events that will highlight the talent in Vance County.
“We have some more artists that are coming in to work with our kids,” Sallins said. “There are a myriad of projects that we are currently working on and we’re raising money to restore some of our murals.”