Our View: Arts Council finds permanent home

Dec. 02, 2012 @ 01:08 AM

The large, front-page headline on Oct. 28 told a major part of the story. “Finally, a home for the arts,” the headline screamed.
And the news story that followed surely brought smiles to the faces of people in the High Point area who have worked for decades to find a permanent home for a community arts center and the High Point Area Arts Council.
Arts Council officials, in that day’s package of news stories, announced that plans were under way to finalize the purchase of the former Centennial Station property at 121 S. Centennial St., which will house the long-dreamed-of community arts center and Arts Council facilities.  The sale now has been completed, and members of the Arts Council staff are on the job in their new facility.
Leaders of the Arts Council and the High Point area have been searching for years for a location that would provide a permanent home for the Arts Council and its several affiliated community arts groups. Supporters of the long-standing goal have in the past considered possibly building a facility on Kivett Drive in the furniture showroom district, purchasing and renovating the old Young’s Furniture building on N. Main Street, purchasing the old High Point Enterprise building on N. Main Street and even purchasing Centennial Station three years ago when the asking price was more than $3.5 million.
But now, because of economic situations, the Arts Council has acquired the Centennial Station property for $860,000. Surely to come will be a fundraising drive to pay off the purchase price and to raise funding for renovations that will accommodate arts programs.  Also, funding will be raised to upgrade the building’s banquet and entertainment facilities, which will provide the Arts Council with the opportunity to generate funds to help sustain the organization.
As the Centennial Station purchase represents a new beginning for the High Point Area Arts Council, people such as Jim Morgan – who spearheaded this most recent effort – Arts Council Director Debbie Lumpkins, longtime Arts Council leaders such as Sparky Stroud and Dave McCoy and many other supporters can take a bow for this work. The Arts Council’s purchase of the old Centennial Station property offers long-wanted stability and huge potential for the Arts Council and its affiliated organizations.