Mission: To nurture artistic expression and to serve the creative life of our community.
 
     
 
Linn-Benton Arts Council

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Corvallis Arts Center

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About the Corvallis Arts Center
 
       The idea for a Corvallis Arts Center came from the inspiration of one woman, Marion Gathercoal, then President of the Corvallis Women's Club. In the late 1950's, she was looking for a community project and a friend fortuitously handed her a small book called "A Survey of Arts Councils." Marion's imagination seized on the idea of creating an arts council with the ultimate goal of becoming an arts center. She had the drive, dedication, and organizational skills to bring a talented pool of people together to turn this dream into a reality.
     On September 12, 1961 the Corvallis Arts Council became a reality - the first arts council in Oregon and the 21st in the entire country. The purpose of the organization was to "encourage creative effort; foster appreciation of creativity; and to coordinate activities of all cultural and educational organizations in the community." The Arts Council thrived, but soon it was apparent that they needed a home to house all the various artists, organizations, and programs they had generated.
     In 1962 they began to search for a vacant building; they found the perfect one in the Corvallis Episcopal Church on the corner of 7th and Jefferson, where the Corvallis Gazette Times is now located. The church had chosen a different location for their new building, and the Corvalllis Elks Lodge #1413 had purchased the old church building. When the Elks Lodge was approached by the Corvallis Arts Council, they responded generously, loaning it indefinitely to the council for the purpose of creating an arts center.
     Since the building had been vacant, a great deal of work needed to be done--the pews and altar had been removed and the entire building needed cleaning and refinishing. A dedicated crew of volunteers rolled up their sleeves and donated their varied talents. On January 26, 1963 the official ribbon cutting ceremony for the Corvallis Arts Center was held, to the joy of its founders and the community. In 1970 the lot was sold to the Corvallis Gazette Times and the Corvallis Arts Center faced yet another challenge - how to move the building to another site. The lot on 7th and Madison, owned by the city, was approved by the City of Corvallis as a new site. Robert Mix, the legal counsel for the Corvallis Arts Center, secured the building's status on the National Registry of Historic Buildings, making it eligible for $40,000 to move it to its new site. The Robert Wilson Construction Company of Corvallis dug a basement for the building, free of charge. In this way, by 1972, the project was completed.
     Though the Corvallis Arts Center has grown and changed, we are still proudly housed in the same historic building. And forty years later the guiding focus remains the same - "to nurture artistic expression and to serve the creative life of our community." This mission is met through a variety of educational programs, exhibitions, community events, and services.
   
  • Exhibits (Local, regional, national)
  • Artist Gallery Talks
  • On Site Arts Classes
  • Off Site Arts Classes (STARS)
  • ArtCentric ArtShop
  • Guilds
  • Public Art Funding
  • Professional & Technical Assistance and Workshops
  • Visual Arts Committee
  • Community Events: Reader's Theater, Concerts, Writer's Readings
Copyright © 2002 ArtCentric/Linn-Benton Arts Council. All Rights Reserved.