Shelby County Arts Council to kick off capital campaign Nov. 15

Keith Design Architecture created this rendering of the propsed Shelby County Arts Council center.

Keith Design Architecture created this rendering of the proposed Shelby County Arts Council center. (File)

By STEPHANIE BRUMFIELD / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Arts Council is gearing up to raise approximately $4 million to fund a new community arts center in downtown Columbiana with a capital campaign kick-off Nov. 15.

The campaign kick-off will be from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Shelby County Arts Council’s gallery and performance space at 104 Mildred Street in Columbiana and will include refreshments, drawings of the proposed community center, special guests and opportunities for attendees to ask questions about the new project.

While the Shelby County Arts Council has already received close to $3 million in donations to help fund the new 26,000-square-foot facility, it still needs to raise an additional $3 million to break ground and another $1 million to meets its $7 million goal. The new space will be located on the corner of West College Street and Summer Classics Way, just one block away from Main Street.

Director of development Terri Sullivan said the arts education and performance facility will not only enhance the community through arts programming but will also serve as an economic driver for growth in South Shelby County. Approximately 175 people are projected to visit the facility daily, and attendees of arts events typically spend $17 when they go to events outside of the price of their ticket, Sullivan said.

“That’s money that’s going to go back into the local economy and local businesses and will generate sales tax revenue for the city and the county,” she said. “The opportunity is there to benefit everyone no matter whether they love the arts or not, and we want everyone to join in and support us for that very reason.”

Filmmaker Andy Erwin of the Erwin Brothers and his wife Mandii will attend the event, as will actress and story perfomer Dolores Hydock, who will speak about their experiences and success as artists living in Shelby County.

Those in attendance will also have the opportunity to learn about ways to get involved. The arts council’s grassroots campaign, called the 3,000-to-1,000 campaign, involves 3,000 businesses or individuals donating $1,000 each to raise the $3 million needed to break ground. With 200,000 residents living in Shelby County, Sullivan said the 3,000-to-1,000 campaign lets people know that $3 million is an achievable goal.

Those who are interested in giving larger donations will have the opportunity to have spaces, such as music rooms, the dance studio and the theater, named after a loved one, with larger, most prominent spaces requiring larger donations. Sullivan said she hopes to announce which rooms have already been named and which one are still available for naming at the Nov. 15 kick-off.

“We welcome anyone to get on board with whatever level of gift,” she said. “The more that individual families in our community can participate in the campaign, the more they will have a personal investment and a personal tie to (the center). We want everybody to have ownership.”

Anyone with questions about the project or anyone interested in making donations should contact Terri Sullivan at 215-1136.