If you haven’t yet put your money where your mouth is in support of the arts, the Arts Council of York County is hoping this is the time you will do it.
With the closing of Rock Hill’s Community Performance Center on Thursday, the Arts Council will be taking its performing arts series on tour to several venues across York County. The facility, which hosted tenants such as the York County Ballet and Remedy Church for seven years, is likely to be replaced by a larger, 500-seat performing arts center on East Black Street.
Comporium has pledged to spend about $50 million rebuilding a block of the downtown Fountain Park district to include the arts center, a boutique hotel, a conference center and plans for retail, residential and restaurant spaces.
To make space for the new development, the former TD bank building, the Arts Council of York County’s Community Performance Center and a one-story building along Main Street will be demolished, as will the CN2 studios.
Without the regular performance space, the Arts Council needs a strong turnout for its annual capital campaign to replace the lost facility rental income – about 25 percent of its operating budget.
“We’re not just losing the space, but the rental income that supports it,” said executive director Debra Heintz. “We’ll need to replace it with our capital campaign in order to continue at our current rate.
“We’ve had good support from individuals and corporate donors, but it’s critical for our membership to grow.”
For the upcoming year, the Arts Council will make use of other local venues, including the McCelvey Center, Sullivan Middle School, the Gettys Center, First Presbyterian Church and a possible showing at Winthrop University. The 12th Annual Blues & Jazz Festival is scheduled to kick off Oct. 6-7 at Springmaid Park in Fort Mill’s Baxter Village.
Comporium, the Arts Council of York County, Winthrop University and other interested stakeholders have been studying the feasibility of a downtown performing arts center for several years. Heintz said organizing events on the road allows the Arts Council to solidify York County’s standing as a top arts destination throughout South Carolina.
“We’re sad to see this space go, but it will help us to push arts deeper into York County,” she said. “We’ve come a long way with that.”
Want to help?
Donations to the Arts Council of York County can be made:
▪ Online: yorkcountyarts.org/donate.
▪ By mail: Arts Council of York County, P.O. Box 2797, Rock Hill, SC 29732.
▪ In person: Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., Rock Hill.
To learn more about sponsorships and partnerships, call the Arts Council at 803-328-2787, or stop by the Center for the Arts.