LOGO - City of Dublin

DUBLIN — The city is preparing to open its first Cultural Arts Center (CAC) in the spring of 2024, and officials connected with the project are envisioning great things.

Renovations began last November. Dublin’s current Heritage and Cultural Arts Supervisor, Tyler Phillips, will run the center once it is open. He said he’s looking forward to seeing the completed project.

“We are absolutely excited about this,” said Phillips. “There seems to be a huge need for the expansion of art and art projects in the area, so it’s going to be great. There aren’t a lot of dedicated art galleries in Dublin, so there’s a lot of anticipation for this. I work with some of the local artists now and there is excitement for a dedicated art space to show off some of the talent in the area.”

The new CAC will be on the first floor of the Dublin Civic Center. Previously occupied by the Dublin Police Department, the rooms have been gutted and are being redesigned to serve as a center for the arts in the city and surrounding areas. The project will cost approximately $14.4 million, financed by the city’s general fund.

The new center will include music rooms, art rooms, a gallery, a black box theater – smaller and more intimate than a standard theater – a dance studio, outdoor art space and rental space.

“We are really hoping the Cultural Arts Center becomes a hub of all the different arts and performances that happen in Dublin,” said Phillips. “The city already has a collection of public art and temporary art, and we have some great partnerships with the art community, but we are hoping to bring even more community partners together where we can offer a place to artists and bring more people to the arts.”

One of the community partners collaborating with the city to create the CAC is the Dublin Arts Collective (DAC). DAC President Sawsan Wolski said a center like this has been a dream of hers since she moved to the area in 1995. As the owner of Dublin’s Frame Company and Art Gallery, and an artist in her own right, Wolski is deeply imbedded in the local arts community and said the new center will be a wonderful way to represent that community.

“With the city thinking it would convert the building, we mobilized so we could show the city and community that we have an art community here,” Wolski said. “It’s just not organized, and no one knows about it. By having a center like this, we are supporting the city and the arts community. It’s been quite a collaboration between us and the city so far.”

The city conducted public outreach, hosting meetings to get input on what the CAC should include. Wolski said the DAC has been an integral part of the process, energizing the progression from concept to design to implementation. She firmly believes supporting the arts community will give the city a heartbeat, with the CAC acting as the epicenter.

“What we hope to really do is not just for the City of Dublin, but all of the Tri-Valley and beyond,” she said. “That movement toward the arts and the recognition by the community of the importance of it is a blessing for all of us. I see how important STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) is to parents with young kids, but they forget the most important part is also self-expression. You need a way to unwind and express yourself and your thoughts, and what better way than to have a haven for the arts, where you are safe and free to exercise that.”

As the CAC prepares to open, the City of Dublin is searching for contract instructors to teach a variety of arts and arts enrichment classes within the center. To apply as an instructor, or for more information, visit www.bit.ly/indy_cac. The CAC will be located at 100 Civic Center Plaza in Dublin.

For more information on the DAC, visit www.dacarts.org.