The year 2022 is of great significance to the Anderson Arts Center as it celebrates its 50th year of providing cultural experiences to the community. The Arts Center was established in 1972 with the vision and backing of local philanthropist Callie Stringer Rainey. Known then as the Anderson County Arts Council, it met at Anderson College and made its permanent home in a Carnegie Library on Main Street that was built in 1908. There, the Anderson Arts Center thrived, increasing its arts programming for 34 years until it was bursting at the seams.
Foreseeing the need of a much larger space, the Anderson Arts Center began making efforts to acquire and renovate an adjacent P&N Railway Warehouse. In January of 2006, the 33,000-square-foot Anderson Arts Center Warehouse was opened significantly changing the cultural landscape of the area and providing new opportunities to the community.
The renovated Arts Warehouse offers ADA-compliant classrooms, exhibit space, office and retail space allowing the Anderson Arts Center to open the arts to thousands of people in the state.
Two 2500-square-foot galleries provide a large space for art exhibits. A new exhibit is on display every six weeks or so. The smaller Atrium Gallery is utilized for additional exhibit space as well allowing the Arts Center to hosts approximately 12 different exhibits each year.
Arts education is a high priority for the non-profit organization, and classes for youth and adults are offered. Additionally, the Arts Center provides outreach programming to underserved populations ensuring the accessibility of the arts to all.
The Arts Center has worked with the City, County and community to provide public art throughout the downtown area, and it hosts one of the longest running juried art shows in the state.
As the Arts Center enters its 50th year, it has set both financial and awareness goals. Events to engage the community are planned throughout the year, including the regularly scheduled exhibits. Visitors can anticipate an exciting March 4 Art Slam which will include an on-site, real-time creative competition, artisan market, and performing art as well.
The organization is also seeking to go into the next 50 years debt-free and is working to raise enough funds to pay off the renovation debt, which is just shy of $50,000. With an overall goal of $100,000, additional donations will help to establish a building fund for ongoing upkeep and continued improvements of the renovated warehouse. There is a special 50 Year Donation Drive page on their website with more information.
For more information on the events throughout the year, visit the Arts Center’s website, and follow their social media pages. If you would like to make a contribution toward the debt retirement or programming activities, you may do so online, by mail or in person. The website is www.AndersonArts.org; mailing address is 110 Federal Street, Anderson, SC 29625 or call 864-222-2787.