The LaGrange Art Museum has big plans this year for the Center for Creative Learning.
The CCL, located adjacent to the museum, is being converted into a “vibrant, mixed-use multi-art community space.”
“The art museum was gifted that building,” said Karen Briggs, executive director for the LaGrange Art Museum.
“We weren’t able to fully utilize it because there was only one exit door. It’s not fire safe.”
Briggs and her staff decided about two years ago that they would follow a similar model to many of the art museums around the country and help boost the revenue of the museum.
“The way most art museums operate around the country is that they charge money for classes, or for event rental space, or for studios for artists,” Briggs said.
“There’s an opportunity for income that this museum didn’t have because it couldn’t use that building.”
The museum has been busy over the holiday season collecting donations from local business owners and philanthropists and have now raised over 90 percent of the total needed to help fund with the project.
The major funding was provided by the Callaway Foundation, Inc., the city of LaGrange, the Charter Foundation, Inc., and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional critical support has been provided by The Home Depot, Commercial Bank & Trust and Georgia Production Studios.
Now in the final stages of accumulating the necessary funds needed to start, the Art Museum will host a “Hard Hat Gala” at the Del’avant event center on Jan. 24.
The event theme, “Creative Construction” will feature a yellow hard hat theme and centerpieces of construction detritus-turned-table-sculptures in this Hard Hat Party where guests will be given crayons and issued hard hats at the door.
“It’s going to be a fun party,” Briggs said. “It’ll be a really creative and different spin on a party.We’re hoping that we will be able to raise the money that we need to finish off that last little bit of the project so that we can start the project in February or March.”
When complete, the CCL will encompass a parking area featuring an artist designed and installed exterior mural, a kitchen, bike racks, artists’ studios, fire rated kiln, potters wheels, sinks, and a full wall of glass garage doors which will roll open and provide light into this environmentally efficient space that will be used by children, adults and seniors, and by community art and civic groups.