The Arts Center of Clemson was founded on the ideology of creating an outlet for the growing artistic community of Clemson.
Founders Julie Peters and Deborah Pagano created a plan that would allow people of all ages and abilities to participate in such a program. Fortunately, the community agreed.
Mayor Larry Abernathy became an advocate for this program. When Clemson Elementary was built, the Morrison Annex Building became available for sale by the school district. Mayor Abernathy negotiated the sale of the building to the city, and it was named the Calhoun Bridge Center. It became home to three non-profits in the community: Clemson Child Development Center, Clemson Area African-American Museum and the Upstate Center for the ARTS.
The name The Arts Center of Clemson was adopted and opened for business in the city’s newly renovated building at 212 Butler Street in Clemson. In fact, all roads lead to The Arts Center of Clemson because the Calhoun Bridge Building is located at the top of the town in the triangle of land nestled between Highways 123, 76 and 93.
The Arts Center of Clemson became a department The City of Clemson under Parks and Recreation. This transition to the City ensured that the arts center would be financially sustainable for years to come. The Arts Center retained and transferred it's original 501 (c)(3) status. The new organization name The Friends of The Arts Center. This is an organization that raises money for art center programs that are not included in the City budget.
The Arts Center of Clemson Today
Since its founding, The Arts Center of Clemson has served as a venue for high-quality adult and youth arts programming. Through events such as 20x20, we strive to promote regional artists and talented faculty to our community. We believe the arts provide a voice for individuals to be heard and new ways to explore the world. Nurturing the creative process in a variety of ways is The Arts Center of Clemson's number one priority.