CCAC closes its doors

The Civic & Cultural Arts Center of Pineville, an organization that called Pineville home for six years, has parted ways with the town over what town and CCAC leaders say was a difference of “vision” and “goals.”

The CCAC Board of Directors submitted a letter to town leaders late last month thanking them for their financial support over the years while explaining their reasoning for pulling out of Pineville.

“We understand that the desire of the town council is to have a locally-focused community art center. We feel this no longer aligns with our goals of greater reach and a focus on creative-arts-based education. Therefore, after careful thought and deliberation, we have decided to close the doors on our Main Street center,” CCAC board members said in the letter.

The letter continued, “We are very excited and confident in the future of CCAC. Should other opportunities arise in the future allowing us to work with the town of Pineville, we will welcome them.”

CCAC’s decision to leave its 329 Main St. location comes after a lengthy discussion over the town’s financial contributions to the organization at the town council’s June 10 meeting. CCAC representatives presented a line-item budget outlining a need of nearly $90,000 for fiscal year 2013-14 and a three-year projection including figures between $143,000 and $176,000. 

CCAC leaders said they were prepared to seek funding from outside sources, such as grants, but requested the town be willing to help meet the deficit if other funds weren’t available. The town previously had contributed $20,000 annually to help the nonprofit meet its needs.

Pineville town administrator Haynes Brigman said he spent time with CCAC leaders prior to the June town council meeting helping them develop a more conservative budget than what was presented at the meeting.

 “They were asking us to make a commitment to be prepared to support them up to $110,000 annually,” Brigman said. “Likely and hopefully, it wouldn’t have been that much, but there was no way to know. It was just too much for us to be able to agree to.”

Another source of dissention was over the direction the organization was headed versus the direction the town wanted it to go. CCAC leaders previously said they wanted to reach out to surrounding communities – something they said was necessary to secure grants and other funds. Town leaders, however, argued the organization wasn’t focusing enough on the Pineville community to justify the contributions it was asking the town to provide.

“We just felt from when (CCAC) started in 2008 to where it is now, they were facing outward more than inward (to the Pineville community),” Mayor Jack Edwards said. “It’s a sad parting, but I think it needs to happen.”

Brigman and Edwards both said the town plans to continue providing arts-related programs to residents through the town’s parks and recreation department. They’d also eventually like to partner with another arts organization, though Edwards said they’re “not going to jump into anything just because CCAC has left. We’re going to keep going the right direction the council feels we need to go.”

CCAC did not respond to requests for additional comments by The Pineville Pilot’s press deadline. Find more information about the organization at its website, www.ccacpineville.org.

Another door opens…

The former CCAC site at 329 Main St. won’t remain vacant for long. Transformations, an interior design business based in Charlotte, will operate the 2,300-square-foot space as its new storefront. 

The family-run business specializes in custom window treatments, blinds, shades and shutters, and also offers home furnishings including furniture, art, accessories, wallpaper, lamps, rugs, furniture paint, fabrics and more.

Michael Gavin, founder and owner of Transformations, said the business will continue to operate its larger store at 2131 S. Tryon St. – a location he said has “more of a warehouse feel” – but he’s excited to bring his business to Pineville.

“I like the small-town feel there with the sidewalks, the lights. The buildings have character,” Gavin said “… This will allow us to kind of break away into more of a designer appeal there, a more upscale designer look (for our store).”

Gavin said he hopes to “softly” open by the beginning of August and follow with a large grand opening in late August or early September. He said the goal is to be open Tuesday to Saturday from around noon to 6 p.m. with occasional special events in the evenings.

“The safety, community, the charm of that town will allow us to do evening events,” Gavin said. “It’s just a real pleasure to be at a location that’s extremely safe to do evening events with clients.”

Find more information about Transformations at www.transformationscharlotte.biz. 

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Josh Whitener

About Josh Whitener

Josh Whitener has been with South Charlotte Weekly since he started freelancing for the newspaper in summer 2010. He joined the paper full time in December 2011 as a staff writer and has since been promoted to Features Editor, a position that allows him to focus on human interest stories, special events and more in the south Charlotte area. Josh graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2009 with a degree in communication studies - mass media and a minor in journalism. In his spare time, he enjoys playing and writing music and spending time with his wife, April, and son, Caleb, and their two beagles, Annie and Dori. Have a story idea or question for Josh? Contact him at josh@thecharlotteweekly.com.

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