CREATIVE ARTS CENTER AWARDED MAJOR GRANT FOR FACILITY IMPROVMENTS
City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs Awards CAC $200,000

DALLAS – January 2, 2018 – Creative Arts Center of Dallas (CAC) has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs for facility improvements. CAC was one of two organizations awarded the competitive grant as a part of the Cultural Facilities Program supporting the funding and investment in long-term improvement, renovation or major repairs of cultural facilities which are owned and operated by organizations with annual operating budgets of less than $5 million.

According to John Paul Batiste, Chairman of the Cultural Affairs Commission, the City set aside $400,000 last year for projects having a public purpose, a measurable community impact as well as addressing at least one of the identified five priority areas. “Those areas were: urgent-need remodeling; improvements to a historic building, the opportunity for significant organizational growth; ADA-compliance and parking expansion.” CAC’s proposal was the only one that addressed all five priority areas,” said Batiste. “That, combined with the organization’s strong community impact and public purpose, was the reason for its selection.”

The grant will allow CAC to remodel and expand existing office space, construct two ADA-compliant bathrooms in the main building, renovate the staff and student breakroom as well as redirect the front entry of the WPA-built school with a more inviting and accessible entrance in three phases with construction beginning in the spring of 2018. The grant has been leveraged with other funders, and so far the Hillcrest Foundation and the Thomas Charitable Lead Annuity Trust have donated another $36,000. CAC is actively raising the remaining $64,000 from other foundations and individuals.

“To say that we are thrilled to have the support of the Office of Cultural Affairs is an understatement,’ said Diana Pollak, CAC’s Executive Director. “This was such a vote of confidence on the part of the City of Dallas that we are humbled. It’s the largest grant we have ever received over our 50-year history.”

The 10-person facility committee who helped make the strong presentation it was consists of five architects and one interior designer with two of those members serving on the board. Both architecture firms, Corgan and Gensler, leant their expertise on the project, and Corgan will serve as the lead once construction begins. One of the facility committee members, Charles Eisemann, who also serves on the CAC Advisory Board said this is a game-changer for CAC. “I am a long-time student at the Center who has witnessed the need for critical facility improvements for a number of years,” said Eisemann. “CAC is a treasure to the community of artists it serves and this investment will advance the mission of the Creative Arts Center for years to come.”

According to Pollak, the business community is also taking note of the significance of this project with the award of the Business Council of the Arts’ 2017 Obelisk Award for medium-size companies given to Corgan in November for its on-going support of CAC and other arts organizations in North Texas.

ABOUT CAC: Not only is CAC a 50-year-old visual arts school, it is a thriving arts community for a diverse range of students from teens to seniors. Located on a two-acre campus four miles east of downtown Dallas, the nonprofit community arts organization is geared to beginning, emerging and working artists. Offering more than 500 classes and workshops per year in such disciplines as ceramics, clay sculpture, creative writing, drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal arts, mosaic, painting, photography, printmaking and stone carving, CAC also offers free arts programming to underserved children through programs, such as Art as a Second Language, Camp MetalHead and unseenamerica. CAC recently launched ArtAbility, a new program for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

ABOUT THE OFFICE OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS: The City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA), a division of the City Manager’s Office, fosters support, partnerships, and opportunities for Dallas citizens, visitors, artists, and arts and cultural organizations. Led by Jennifer Scripps, the OCA is responsible for the implementation of the City’s cultural policy and programs and works to enhance the vitality of the City and the quality of life for all Dallas citizens by creating an environment wherein arts and cultural organizations thrive and people of all ages enjoy opportunities for creative expression and the celebration of our community’s multicultural heritage.

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