03/27/11 — New Arts Council location announced

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New Arts Council location announced

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on March 27, 2011 1:50 AM

The Arts Council of Wayne County announced in its newsletter Friday that it will be moving into new quarters on the first- and second-level spaces of the building at the corner of Walnut and John streets.

Members of the Arts Council Board said the new accommodations, which provide 7,500 square feet of room, will continue to provide enough space for all the programs the organization provides, along with room for large exhibits and other events.

The Goldsboro City Council last week discussed what to do with the building if negotiations for the Arts Council, a non-profit organization, to sell it to the city come to fruition. An Air Force museum was discussed by council members as a future possibility.

In the letter, Arts Council Executive Director Sarah Merritt told Arts Council members that the new Arts Council building will offer the opportunity for the council to continue to grow.

"The heart of the Arts Council is not the building it occupies,  but the people that occupy it -- the many artists, audiences, supporters and volunteers that make it the wonderful organization that has served this community for almost 50 years."

The Arts Council has occupied a former bank building at the intersection of Ash Street and Spence Avenue for several years but the council's board determined last year that the building's upkeep was becoming too expensive. Alternatives, including sharing the space with another entity, were entertained but in the end did not become reality.

A few months ago, the City Council expressed an interest in the building and the Arts Council and the city entered into negotiations for the structure. At present, the two parties have a tentative agreement, based on the city's inspection of the premises over the next couple of months.

The Arts Council's agreement with the owners of the downtown property is likewise contingent on the city's agreeing to purchase the Ash Street location, noted Al Grisette, the council's president.