Our Story

UYA Logo Pencil Sketch

Our Story

It’s no secret to people who have lived in Southport or Oak Island for any length of time the area has a thriving arts scene. Live music, art galleries, community theatre, you name it, there is no shortage of variety and no lack of enthusiastic supporters.

There is indeed much to promote. Live music, numerous galleries and shops, festivals and community events, established theater groups, a college campus focused on the arts, the quaint and picturesque location of numerous film productions . . .

The southeast coast of North Carolina continues to emerge as a regional destination focused on the arts.

However, something that has been missing until now is a unifying vision of the whole.

A new non-profit group called Up Your Arts seeks to add that perspective. Its focus is not just performing arts, or visual arts, or dramatic arts – UYA’s mission is to create a network linking all of the above.

There's a lot happening in Southport, as the area transforms itself from the iconic sleepy coastal fishing community to a thriving artistic destination. So much so that it can be difficult to keep track of the larger picture.

Established associations here do a terrific job of supporting their individual members, but the entire artistic experience can be overwhelming without a guide. Up Your Arts is dedicated to being that guide for those within and outside of the community.

Our investment in the arts is inseparable from our investment in the community and its entire history. What is ‘art’ anyway, but a record? Our feelings, our hopes, imagined in a way that makes sense of what has come before. This kind of expression is essential to our mental wellbeing. Celebrating its free reign is critical to our collective health.

Ken Schnedetz, Former Board Chair of Up Your Arts

Help us discover, promote, foster and support local artists by getting involved with Up Your Arts! Here are some of the many ways you can help...

We can't make our vision a reality without your support. Just $10/month makes a difference. Become a member of Up Your Arts today!

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