Local News

Community Rallies To Help Save Carrboro ArtsCenter

Posted August 19, 2002

— The state budget crisis has forced nonprofit agencies across the Triangle to scale back services. Some have been forced to shut down.

A local community pitched in to take the heat off one Orange County group.

For 28 years,

The ArtsCenter

has been the birthplace of creativity in Carrboro. The center holds over 600 classes and performances each year. When a broken air conditioning system threatened to bring all of that to a screeching halt, the community stepped in to help.

"The temperatures soared. It was in the 90's. We had 200 kids coming in for a performance. It was not cooling off," said Judi Cooper of the Carrboro ArtsCenter.

Two brand-new units at $11,000 were out of the question for the nonprofit group.

That is when Bryant Heating and Cooling stepped up to the plate. The ArtsCenter got the units for $6,500, but still needed to make payments it could not afford.

That is when Tommy Dennison of the Billy Dechand Band pitched an idea the director of the ArtsCenter could not refuse.

"Well, I'm in a band. I know we could play and I know other bands, so why don't we do a benefit concert?" Dennison said.

Dennison and four other artists signed up, including Jonathon Byrd and Carlos Salvos.

"We are the community, we're about the community. It's about people pitching in that makes the ArtsCenter what it is. That's really the lifeblood of the ArtsCenter," Cooper said.

Friday's benefit concert raised over $1,000.

Between the donations and the money raised at the concert, the ArtsCenter is halfway through in paying back its debt.


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