BY MARY GARRISON
As renovations on the Louise Campbell Center for the Arts draw closely to conclusion, the city is looking to outline specifics on the building's future use.
West Point Mayor Robbie Robinson has selected a steering committee composed of representatives from the three entities with a vested interest in the building â€”Â the city, the West Point Clay County Growth Alliance and the West Point Clay County Arts Council â€” to determine rules and regulations for public use. The newly-formed eight-member committee is set to meet for the first time at noon tomorrow.
"I envision this as open to the public but more like the Civic," Robinson said. "We're going to steer it along the lines of art receptions and other things like the Friday Night Jams sessions and any event the Arts Council has."
Lisa Klutts, Growth Alliance director and committee member, said she viewed Friday's meeting as a brainstorming session. The group will discuss not only how and when to open for public use but also look at potential festivities and dates for the center's grand opening. The session would provide an opportunity to look at the center and its role in the city's continuing artistic development.
"West Point is forming its identity as the arts community of the Golden Triangle," Klutts said. "We have a very strong arts council with no real place to call home. (And there are) several things to consider (for building use)."
Klutts said among those uses she hoped to see continued exhibits, particularly from those artists who win honors at the annual Prairie Arts Festival. In addition, the center could provide space for community activities such as local theater rehearsal space. A place to display existing art the council has acquired would prove a boon as well, she said.
"The Prairie Arts (Festival) is one of the few juried programs in the area," Klutts said. "Every year, we buy the 'Best in Show' and we're given money to spend so we make other purchases, too. These have been housed at the Growth Alliance, but they need to be on display somewhere. We're proud of the art we bring to this community."
Robinson said renovations to the building were on track to be completed by the 36th annual Prairie Arts Festival, however grand opening would not take place until September. As of Wednesday, no specific date had been set.
Construction began on the facility in January with a $460,000 budget the city secured in general obligation bonds to be paid off by the Growth Alliance within 15 years. Robinson said he felt the project would remain within the confines of the budget with the exception of additional flooring work.
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