Carrboro ArtsCenter Grand Opening – full of fun and festivities


By Diana Newton

At noon on Saturday, drums and whistles sounded off, and a colorful parade celebrating the move from the former location of Carrboro’s ArtsCenter to its new home just around the corner at 400 North Roberson Street began. Though only a short distance away, the ArtsCenter has traveled almost fifty years from its founding in 1975 to today’s newly remodeled, state-of-the-art facility with its sustainable green features, adaptable spaces, and modern technologies for makers to use.

Visitors, students taking classes, kids attending art camps, and makers will intermingle in the innovative spaces that invite creativity and conversation about the diverse art forms throughout the ArtsCenter. The ceramics studio has tripled in size, the painting studio has natural light, and three new maker spaces exist. Children have space for their creative expressions to flourish in its Youth Education Center and STEAM Labs, as will through outreach programs across the state. Audiences can enjoy performances in either a large auditorium or an intimate black-box setting. Ample parking and proximity to the Libba Cotten Trail and bike paths make the ArtsCenter easily accessible for the community.

All photos by Diana Newton

Barb Ford waves a flag as the parade approaches the leads the crowd to the new Arts Center location at 400 Roberson Street in Carrboro.

Even the Paperhand Puppets needed to escape from the intense heat and rest in the shade as the crowd gathered for cool drinks and ice cream at the opening.

Sarah Trotter of Sparkle Body Arts paints Sage Kleeman’s face as sisters Adelaide and Ainsley look on. A range of activities, from a drum circle to soul collage to guided tours, gave visitors a taste of the new Arts Center.

Jenny-Shultz-Thomas, Executive Director of the Arts Center, welcomed a huge crowd and thanked the Board, staff, investors, and other honorees for their work in transitioning to the new space.

New gallery spaces at the Arts Center showcase a range of diverse art forms.

Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils joins ArtsCenter Board members and staff for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Magician Josh Lozoff entertains the audience with mysterious envelopes and boxes in the Arts Center’s new auditorium.

Claudia Zuniga looks at art with her daughter Vicky before her performance with the Takiri Dance Academy as part of the opening festivities.

Diana Newton is a coach, facilitator, filmmaker, writer, artist, yoga teacher and general Renaissance woman. Her documentary film The Ties That Bind is available for streaming on UNC-TV. She lives in Carrboro and is a UNC alum.

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