Lincoln Arts Center: The Clock is Ticking

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

Nice summary of Chapel Hill’s Lincoln Arts Center’s problem locating a new home by Jesse James DeConto in today’s Chapel Hill News.

Sooner or later, the popular pottery program is going to have to leave its home at the Lincoln Center, the administrative office complex of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools on Merritt Mill Road. The school system is short on office space, and district officials have said that eventually they will have to reclaim the studio for offices and storage.

“The schools really do need this space at some point,” said studio manager Carmen Elliott. “They’ve been renting a lot of space for their workers.”

The studio has operated at the Lincoln Center for 30 years. The current lease will expire on Dec. 31. Elliott worries that losing the space will signal the end of the pottery program.

“It’s been a great, great place to be,” she said. “I’d really hate to see it fold.”

It has been more than two years since the incredibly loyal and enthusiastic Lincoln Arts Center family joined together to save this vital hands-on arts program. It has been more than a year ago that they presented one of the most moving citizen-led petitions I’ve ever witnessed to the Town’s Parks and Recreation Commission. And nearly as long ago that this band of dedicated art enthusiasts petitioned Council.

It has been nearly one year since the Chapel Hill News Editor Mark Shultz’s “Pottery Predicament”

Phyllis Swank’s latest sculpture looks like a cross between a heart and seashell, its waves inviting your fingers to gently grab hold. People have told her it looks like something from the ocean, but she hasn’t heard the heart reference before. She’s momentarily taken aback, because she was thinking about her nephew — who had been killed in an accident — when she molded it from a melon-sized piece of brown clay.

Schultz’s May 10,2006 Chapel Hill News editorial

Followed by last Fall’s renewed efforts to focus Council’s attention.

For all that upfront attention, this “little” program – having served 8500 young, old, autistic, rich, poor residents over 30 years – teeters on the edge.

Please contact our Council (CONTACT ) and let them know that hands-on arts is a vital to our community – that this unique 30-year old program deserves a new home in which to flourish.



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