Arts Center Project

We are working with Southport elected officials to preserve the historic Brunswick County Courthouse, which also served as the City of Southport City Hall before it succumbed to the ravages of time. Help us restore this landmark building into a center for the arts!

Rendering Watercolor Hero Outside

"I certainly want to be [involved]. I think the preservation part of it is fantastic. It’s going to be a beautiful project."

Mayor Joe Pat Hatem
(State Port Pilot, 9-28-22; page 2A)

Save the Hall, Y'all!

The building at 201 East Moore Street was once the jewel of the county. A sturdy and resolute structure built in the mid-1800s, it presided over the entirety of Brunswick County when Southport was the county seat until 1977. After housing the city’s administrative offices for another 40 years, it became uninhabitable and has stood vacant since 2016. Today, we see a decrepit building in the heart of downtown
Southport where once a vital, community center stood.

Discussions were held by the Southport Board of Aldermen a few years ago to tear it down, sell it, or repurpose the space into something useful, like a parking lot. But working together since then, Up Your Arts and city officials have taken the necessary steps to conceive of it otherwise with the expectation it could be revitalized to life and could, in turn, invigorate downtown Southport.

We imagined an arts center in the historic heart of the city: an informal (or sometimes formal) gathering spot for everyone who lives here and a must-see destination for out-of-town family and visitors. We had a vision for a self-sustaining, state-of-the-art creative and performing arts center that reflects the kind of community we are: creative, responsible, and caring.

And thus, the campaign to “Save the Hall, Y’all” began.

Our grassroots efforts have brought many Southport residents together to help Up Your Arts refine and enact the vision. Thanks to them, we are well on our way to turning this dream into reality.

We hope you will join us in discovering the best future use of this iconic building, which has been at the center of Southport municipal life for generations. Start by taking a look at what we’ve imagined so far, then help us save the hall, ya’ll.

A Multi-Phased Plan

Phase One: Research and Study

Up Your Arts undertook various actions to determine whether the building was a feasible candidate for restoration, including engaging the services of professional contractors to conduct structural and mold remediation analyses.


Phase Two: Program Development

Community volunteers selected for their expertise in creative and performing arts management delivered a series of white papers outlining fundamentals for inclusive, practical, and inspiring use of the space.


Phase Two: Design Development

Ongoing dialogue expanded the scope of possibilities while architectural services were funded and engaged to determine the design required to support the variety of artistic and program revenue needs identified.



Phase Two: Organizational Development

Architectural services will be completed, with construction drawings and specifications necessary to solicit contractor bids; and a separate legal entity made up of community stakeholders will be established to take the project forward in partnership with the City of Southport.


Phase Three: Pre-Construction

Under the guidance of the center’s new board of directors, construction funding will be secured from a variety of sources – grants, foundation support, capital campaigns, etc. -- and a general contractor will be selected through a competitive bidding process.

Phase Four: Construction

The actual construction work will take place, including hazard mitigation, demolition, reconstruction, and the selection of all necessary furnishings.

Grand Opening!

Once all four phases of the project are successfully completed, a robust series of opening events and programs will be established and promoted. We will all then begin to celebrate having a true community-based creative and performing arts center in the heart of Southport!

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