Art renaissance in Conway takes hold quickly after grants awarded

For The Sun NewsJuly 17, 2014 

The Live Oaks Arts Festival is one of the events coordinated by the CREATE! Conway arts group, which has received a grant from the City of Conway Parks and Recreation Department. Community art classes funded by the grant will begin in August.

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A Conway renaissance is heating up quickly due in part to a new collaboration between the City of Conway Parks and Recreation department and the nonprofit local artists’ organization CREATE!

CREATE! has been awarded a grant by the City of Conway Parks and Recreation Department, and it is implementing a new series of community art classes which will be held the third Saturday of the month at the Conway Parks and Recreation Center, with the first course beginning July 19, because of an overwhelming interest so close to the start date, the series opening was nearly pushed back to allow the organization more time to gather needed supplies, but the course will begin as scheduled.

“The area is hungry for this,” said Certified Parks and Recreation Executive Foster Hughes.

Hughes said the City of Conway Parks and Recreation department’s athletics’ branch has evolved steadily over the past four years, but a growing art aspect has been missing, and they’ve been looking to fill that void for citizens.

“These classes are really going to jazz things up around here,” said Barbara Streeter, co-owner of Conway Glass.

The first course being offered by CREATE will be for children ages 7 through 12 and will run from 9 a.m. to noon. It will have a patriotic theme and will be taught by Coastal Carolina University art studio graduate Jesse Nevins. The cost will be $20 per person, or free with a CREATE! Conway Family Membership (for up to two children). Adult art classes are also scheduled to begin in August and will be posted on the CREATE website ( www.createconway.com). The series will offer an assortment of painting and drawing courses.

“This initiative is going to bring more diversity and opportunities to the area,” Hughes said about the new partnership.

CREATE has been a 501(c)4 corporation since 2011, and was specifically designed by local artists to celebrate and promote the arts in the community. The CREATE! board meets the third Monday of every month at 6 p.m. at 209-B Laurel St. The meetings are free and open to the public. Anyone interested in presenting an art-related item to the board can contact Barbara Streeter at 248-4527.

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