INDIAN TRAIL – Residents of Indian Trail are invited to enjoy a day full of art and culture this weekend while celebrating the grand opening of the town’s new Cultural Arts Center.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Cultural Arts Center will take place at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20. The center is located on Navajo Trail off of Indian Trail Road in the former town hall building.
“All town offices were moved across the street so we were able to open space for the Cultural Arts Center,” explained Rebecca Carter, public information officer and events coordinator for the town. “We had to do minimal construction, just some fresh paint and things; the space was pretty much already there, we just freshened it up a little bit.”
The Piedmont Cultural Arts Festival is an annual event, this year celebrating the opening of the center and taking place on the same day, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public at Crossing Paths Park, across the street from the town hall/arts center.
“Our goal is always to provide free entertainment options to the public,” Carter said. “We’ll have lots of free things to do like art projects, a petting zoo and face painting.”
In addition, Carter said different artists from Indian Trail offered to display their art for the ribbon-cutting ceremony; the Matt Stratford Band will perform along with other music performances at the Crossing Paths Park Amphitheater; and local artists and crafts people will have booths and food vendors also will be available.
The dance groups Imagine Academy and Masterpiece Studios, both in Indian Trail, will perform at the festival.
“We are thrilled to be able to provide this quality of life amenity for Indian Trail residents,” said Kelly Barnhardt, community and economic development director for the town. “We came up with the tagline ‘Inspire, Create, Educate’ for this center and we hope children and adults of all ages will come out and see what it is all about.”
“We’ll have over 40 art vendors in the park that day and lots of food vendors will be there,” Carter said. “We have a great band playing and really great dance performances.”
The town received a grant from Lowe’s Home Improvement of Indian Trail for $1,000 worth of ceiling tiles for use in the center.
“Indian Trail arts students will be able to paint and decorate those to be permanently displayed in the arts center,” Carter said.
The completed tiles, made using techniques students learn in the classroom, will be used to create an educational “art sky” for Cultural Arts Center visitors to enjoy.
“This partnership and donation from Lowe’s Home Improvement is a great example of what we hoped to accomplish with area businesses for the benefit of our residents,” Barnhardt said. “We are extremely excited to see what the future brings with the new Cultural Arts Center.”
The goal of the art center will be to have specific art showings for the community throughout the year and to offer classes by partnering with organizations and artists in the community, Carter explained.
“We can offer the classes at a reduced cost because of donations from local businesses,” she said.
Carter said a similar event was held in the town last year, under the name Folk Life Festival. “We felt like people didn’t really understand what that meant, so we decided to call it something different this year,” Carter explained.
The festival was inspired by a perceived need for more arts activities in the Indian Trail community, Carter said.
“I don’t think that we have as many cultural art activities in our community,” she said. “I think that Waxhaw has a great artists’ community and Matthews holds a lot of great arts events and this is something we would like to bring to our community. Even further, it will give residents the opportunity to experience these kinds of activities here so they don’t have to travel.”
Parking for the event will be available at the new Cultural Arts Center and in a grass lot beside the sheriff’s office’s satellite location. Parking is free for the event, Carter said.
The Indian Trail Town Council approved the development of the center as a part of the 2012-2013 budget. A new town hall is planned for the future at a different location.
For more information, go to www.indiantrail.org or contact Rebecca Carter at 704-821-5401 or rcarter@admin.