ArtCenter Manatee has been transforming lives in Manatee County and surrounding areas for over 85 years. The city estimates that 30,000 cars go by our building every day. But the ArtCenter isn’t about the building. It’s about people. Over 35,000 people enter our doors every year. They come for classes, workshops, exhibits and events and to shop in the LiveArtfully market for unique hand-made gifts. And they come back; to connect, to explore, to learn, and to grow.
Take a look at our current building, then get ready for change, because the ArtCenter is changing. We are growing and reaching more people of all ages, backgrounds, and experience levels. We’ve reached the point where we’ve had to turn people away and limit new class offerings. We knew we had to do something to accommodate the growth in our community and the increased demand for classes, so after a feasibility study, our Board voted to proceed with a capital campaign to build a new facility. The new 2-story art center will be 28,000 SF and will feature one large gallery, nine classrooms, the gift shop, and expanded kitchen, office and storage space. The new center will be renamed Herrig Center for the Arts and the new address will be on the Avenue of the Arts (3rd Ave).
A key feature of the new Center will be a community park and sculpture garden that will welcome people as they drive over the 9th Street bridge into Bradenton. Landscape architecture improves urban spaces and the quality of life of the people living, working in and visiting those spaces. It promotes sustainability and helps create healthier, more beautiful and more livable urban areas. All critical elements in making downtown Bradenton a destination for residents and visitors alike.
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The arts are a powerful tool to help economies thrive, and help individuals to connect and engage with each other across cultures. They drive businesses and residents to our city and help to attract and engage talent. The arts teach important problem-solving skills that improve on-the-job and in-school performance. They nurture a sense of belonging. Things people and businesses look for when making a move. Look around you; creativity is everywhere.
“I call the age we are entering the creative age because the key factor propelling us forward is the rise of creativity as the primary mover of our economy.” — Richard Florida, The Rise of the Creative Class.
Thanks to our members, friends, and foundations, we have raised $9.2 MM toward our goal. At our ground breaking earlier this month, we went public with the campaign to raise an additional $6 MM. We’re excited to share that the Bishop Parker Foundation has a Challenge Grant that will match all donations dollar for dollar, up to a total of $500,000. We like to think that we’re not just building a new center; we’re building lives.
We invite you to visit the ArtCenter and discover all we have to offer, take a tour or a class, view an exhibit and learn more about our campaign and why the arts are so important in all our lives. Help make our city a vibrant destination for the arts. Afterall, we’re not doing this for us, we’re doing it for you, our community and the generations that will follow.
Click here for more information or to donate.