A key part of our CCAG mission is to get people out – out of their homes, out of their studios, out of their offices, and into their community–by creating spaces and occasions for them to come together and engage with the arts in meaningful ways. In order to do this, they need a place to go – one conducive to community building and artistic celebration–and in Old Town Cornelius, we found just the place.
Old Town Cornelius has long been used to describe the parts of town east of I-77– original homes and long-standing small businesses maintaining pockets of charm and tradition amid rapid town-wide growth and development. With the addition of the Antiquity mixed-use neighborhood, along with new businesses and public spaces, Old Town is growing in size and in scope, and CCAG is working with community members to direct and shape that growth.
Old Town Cornelius, or OTC, is also the name of a key community group initiative that supports and shares the CCAG mission. The driven folks behind OTC are key partners in our efforts to create a vibrant, sustainable hub for arts and cultural activity, experience and exploration.
How do you transform an area into an arts and cultural destination? The recipe is simple, but the ingredients are rare. Old Town Cornelius has those ingredients: a strong sense of community, a rich history, significant local talent, and a collective appreciation for the local artists, artisans, and small business owners that add richness to the community.
Add to those ingredients support from the town government, that recently approved plans for the Cornelius Arts and Community Center in Old Town and is developing plans for an entire arts district overlay there, and boom – you have the interest, buy-in, and infrastructure to make something truly unique.
OTC focuses on bringing community members together by planning and facilitating cultural events [LINK] and spotlighting local artists and artisans. The group’s website, oldtowncornelius.com [LINK], is a key arts resource for the community, featuring artist and small business profiles, a comprehensive events calendar, and news reporting on arts and cultural developments in the area. The group also sells all sorts of OTC swag[LINK to OTC sway page?], so community members can show some hometown-arts-hub pride by sporting OTC t-shirts, hats, or bumper stickers. Each OTC effort creates a sense of place and community connection.
By working closely with OTC, we’re giving community members a rallying point. A place to begin. A nucleus of information and activity that informs, shapes and nurtures the cultural life of the entire region.