The McDowell Arts Center in Matthews opened to the public Saturday, Dec. 1, and the town announced more details this week about how the building will be used.
The center will be open to the public Monday through Friday, 1 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m. and staffed by current full-time parks and recreation staff during the day and current part-time staff in the evenings, town spokeswoman Annette Privette-Keller said.
“We decided instead of hiring additional (workers), we’d take folks we already have and give them hours. There are enough part-time people on staff to handle (the job who) are experienced,” she said.
To celebrate the opening of the center, the town held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Dec. 1. Visitors got the chance to tour the center and view its first art exhibit – Matthews Artists Guild’s “Introducing the Artists of MAG” – while children participated in kid-geared activities, courtesy of KidzArt.
The McDowell Arts Center will soon be the meeting place of various artist organizations, such as KidzArt and the Matthews Artists Guild, who will hold art classes in the building.
New watercolor, photography and oil painting classes also will be held, Privette-Keller said this week, and the town is working with other organizations to bring additional classes to the center. A class schedule could be ready by January, she said.
The town purchased the McDowell Arts Center, formerly known as the Agriculture Building for $1 in 2008 from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. The 1920s building was built as an addition to the old Matthews High School, now the Matthews Community Center.
After months of renovation, the building was completed last month.
For information on the McDowell Arts Center and classes offered, visit www.matthewsnc.gov and click on “Parks & Rec” under the “For Residents” tab. Classes are now open for registration.