The Vision

Arts Center Project: The Vision

It is clear to see art lies at the heart of community life, and Up Your Arts wants the proposed new center to put art in the heart of downtown Southport. We envision the repurposed space as a welcome home to all, inviting residents and visitors to come together to celebrate each other and the arts as part of their daily routines.

Concept Watercolor Hero

A Center for the Arts and Community

The overall plan consists of a multi-year, multi-million-dollar project to effect a major reconstruction of the historic Brunswick County Courthouse and former city hall building. The construction and operation of the proposed new art center will come at no cost to the taxpayers. Funding for the project will be raised through a variety of grants, corporate sponsorships, and private giving programs.

A separate non-profit board of directors will be established to become the legal agency to manage the funding and oversee construction. The membership of this board will be selected from various stakeholders throughout the greater Southport community.

Up Your Arts contracted with Lisle Architecture and Design to produce the architectural renderings below. We hope you will be as excited about the possibilities as we are.


Architectural Renderings

Outdoor Space

Visitors will be able to enter the building through the traditional front door on Moore Street or through a new covered entry from the parking lot on Nash Street. The front lawn's round plaza will act as a mingling space backed by a curved ramp for easy accessibility. An outdoor meeting space will be available to one side, while an art display area is planned to showcase larger works and sculptures. The lawn will also provide a lush outdoor event space for musical performances, receptions and other communal events.

First Floor Artist & Visitor Space

The first floor will house studio space (private and shared) that may be rented out to local artists. Up Your Arts also plans to dedicate space to be used communally by Brunswick County non-profit organizations, so that they may have a physical presence in Southport. The wide central hallway will function as an exhibition gallery and information hub. A glass-enclosed meeting room will be outfitted to accommodate small concerts, readings, classes, and meetings.

A meet-and-greet cafe and multi-functional commercial kitchen, paired with a small gift shop featuring the work of local artists, will provide community residents with a variety of reasons to visit - and stay.

Second Floor Grand Hall

The familiar grand hall upstairs will be made an acoustically well-suited performance space to support a broad range of activities—dance, choral recitals, chamber music, storytelling, children’s theater, etc. It will be used municipally as public meeting chambers for the city’s governing body, as well as, rented out to provide additional space for weddings and events when the Southport Community Building is booked to capacity. The kitchen on the first floor will be available as a catering kitchen for event rentals.

A roof-top balcony will provide the perfect place for event attendees to mingle between activities while getting a stunning view of the Southport skyline and a slice of the Cape Fear River.

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