Local News

Thieves steal musical instruments, art supplies, identity info from Fayetteville children's art program

Posted January 13, 2022 6:09 p.m. EST

Fayetteville police are on the hunt for thieves who stole instruments and supplies from an art program designed to help less fortunate kids.

Music, art and poetry used to fill the room of the Art Exp'osion building on Lamon Street in Fayetteville.

But the program has come to a halt after someone broke into the building in November.

"They took everything for the regular program, Art Exp'osion. They took everything for the music program — all the musical instruments ... We have summer camp, and we have three closets that we had already stocked up for the next summer," said Art Exp'osion program director Velton Brown.

But that's not all, Brown said the thieves took the program's checkbook, records containing personal information and stole his identity. He added that close to $10,000 has been written in fraudulent checks using the stolen checkbook.

"They went back in and knocked out the back window, destroyed the front door, and everything was gone," he said.

Brown adds that he now has more than 100 inquiries on his credit report. He said that he's hoping someone steps in to help gets his arts program up and running again.

The program was funded by grants from the Fayetteville Arts Council, according to Brown, and is designed to provide music and art lessons to children.

Since 2003, Brown said the program has served over 8,000 kids.

"When we get through with a child after 13 weeks, we put them on a stage, and they're going to play their first couple of songs on the piano," said Brown. "They're going to go back up on that stage, and they're going to share a poem that they've written.'

In addition, Brown said students also get to display a piece of art on stage that they've created.

Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.