July 11, 2022

Arts+ and Studio 345 Moving to Children & Family Services Center

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For Release: July 13, 2022

Nonprofit Arts+ Finds New Home At Children & Family Services Center
Beloved longtime arts nonprofit signs lease inside innovative, collaborative Uptown Charlotte building for Studio 345 program, staff offices, and multifunctional education space.

CHARLOTTE — Arts+, the beloved nonprofit that has been furthering arts education in Charlotte for more than 50 years, has found a home at the Children & Family Services Center (CFSC) uptown.

Since moving out of Spirit Square in September of last year (the organization’s home since 1998), Arts+ has been functioning in a hybrid-remote capacity out of the VAPA Visual and Performing Arts Center, allowing easier collaboration with several outreach partners and newly formed partnerships with other tenants in the space. Private and group music lessons, moved online during the pandemic, are operating at established Arts+ community partner sites and have seen a significant boost in student enrollment.

“We have been a client of Children Family Services Center for many years,” says Devlin McNeil, Arts+ President and Executive Director. The shared services nonprofit handles Arts+ financial accounting, Human Resources, and IT. “We had toyed with the idea of moving some of our programs/offices for a few years, and that was accelerated by the recent closing of Spirit Square.”

Arts+ will occupy approximately 7,300 square feet of space inside the CFSC building at 601 E. 5th St., with the bulk of the space being dedicated to Studio 345, the county-funded, free digital media after-school program open to all Mecklenburg high school students. The centrally located building uptown is appealing to Arts+, McNeil says, making easy access for students a priority.

Construction on the Arts+ space is already underway with an expected completion date of Sept. 1. The space will include room for Arts+ administrative offices and multifunctional space that will allow for more visual art programming. The goal is to have Studio 345 ready for the start of school in late summer/early fall.

“We will continue to have some space at VAPA to run some programs and have an administrative presence,” McNeil says. “It is important to be there, as we partner with so many of the artists/organizations in the space offering hands-on activities to the community.”

Arts+, ever adept at pivoting, is planning for the present while looking to the next 50 years. The group signed a 10-year lease with CFSC that has a five-year opt-out clause, McNeil says, but also can be renewed at the end of 10 years.

The organization will continue to look for a freestanding, wholly Arts+ facility as well. Arts+ is forming an advisory committee consisting of long-time supporters, former board members, etc., and their first charge will be addressing the long-term space needs, McNeil says.

Architectural planning and design for the new space is being handled by C Design, and Barringer Construction is managing the buildout.

Arts+ is creating a brighter future through outstanding arts training. Formerly known as Community School of the Arts, Arts+ envisions the transformative impact of arts education illuminating every corner of the Charlotte region, making outstanding arts education available to students of all ages, skill levels, and socioeconomic backgrounds. From private lessons to summer camps to community outreach programs, Arts+ strives to help each student unlock their full potential through the power of arts education for the past 50 years. For more information, visit https://www.artsplus.org.