The Christina Cultural Arts Center in downtown Wilmington is growing
The Christina Cultural Arts Center in downtown Wilmington is undergoing a massive expansion project.
For nearly 80 years, the Christina Cultural Arts Center has offered affordable arts education and helped forge career pathways in the arts.
Their programming annually serves about 2,500 students of all ages.
And the center now expects to broaden its reach thanks to over $4 million in federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act Capital Projects Fund.
Those dollars will be used to acquire a second building to expand the Christina Cultural Arts Center’s operations, increase capacity for early childhood education services and art classes, and create more arts programming.
James Rhodes, Executive Director of the Christina Cultural Arts Center, says addressing the critical shortage in childcare is vital.
“The ideal is to get some of those students engaged in the arts, dance, music, drama, starting at 5 years old so when they graduate we can just send them right down to take arts classes,” said Rhodes.
Children must be 3 1/12 to enter the early childhood program.
There are currently 40 slots available, but the new funding will allow for that number to double as the center expands its space and hires more staff.
The center will also add a recording studio to its repertoire, and expand its visual arts programming, which was forced to shrink during the pandemic.
Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester says the arts are vital to communities- helping to drive economic growth, while supporting health and well-being.
“We have so many incredible creatives in this state- some of them are little children, some of them are seniors,” said Blunt Rochester. “The fact that we have this space, this place as a focal point is a source of pride. And it will attract people from other states and other cities to come and see not only the art and the performances, but also to get lessons.”
More information on the Christina Cultural Arts Center can be found here.