Not expected to be named the Cornelius Arts Center for much longer, what is envisioned as a regional destination for arts and culture is on the path to fruition within the next two years. This year, according to Executive Director Justin Dionne, is a year of definition. So what does it look like so far by the numbers? Here’s a look.
The estimated cost
The project will cost in the neighborhood of $20 million based on early estimates, but that could fluctuate as the final stages come together. It is expected to open in 2020 but depending on several factors, that could change.
A bond package was passed in 2013 for $20 million that included $4 million for ramping up downtown Cornelius, including an arts center.
The town purchased the Farmers Co. warehouse property off Catawba Avenue west of the police station for $1.4 million. It was appraised at $1.1 million in the early 2010s.
The original plan was for somewhere near 250 seats for a performing arts theater. Now, that number is up to 500 after the survey found that Cornelius residents overwhelmingly want to support performing arts.
The space purchased is 1.85 acres.
$2.1 billion. That is the amount spent annually on the arts in North Carolina. According to the 2015 Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 report, the arts and culture sector in North Carolina alone yields more than $2 billion a year. That same report found the average person spends roughly $27 per art event.
More than 1,000 people responded to a survey crafted by Dionne. Respondents indicated they are willing to pay for performance art.
N.C. Rep. John Bradford secured $100,000 from the state of North Carolina for the facility back in the fall of 2017, which helped pay for the architect.
The Cornelius Arts Center is a nonprofit, and a registered 501(c)(3). Those who wish to donate can call Dionne at 980-689-3101.