Andrew Guinn is a graduate student in the UNC Department of City and Regional Planning and a CCP intern working in Caswell and Lenoir Counties.
This summer, the Community-Campus Partnership is continuing work with the Artists’ and Artisans’ Gallery in Yanceyville, Caswell County. Currently the gallery’s Board of Directors is placing the finishing touches on the administrative framework of the organization and is preparing to hire a manager and begin renovations of the old Watlington’s building, where the business will be sited.
“The Gallery,” as it will be called, shall function as a non-profit organization that will support area artists and artisans by providing a common space for the viewing and sale of their work to the general public. In addition, it will help strengthen the downtown Yanceyville community, not only by hosting events for local arts and crafts enthusiasts but also by providing an aesthetically pleasing addition to the Courthouse Square. As an added bonus to the county, The Gallery will furthermore boost the local economy by attracting visitors from outlying areas to Yanceyville’s Downtown Historic District, which hosts a number of local merchants and restaurants.
This summer, interns are assisting the Board of Directors in preparing a marketing plan in advance of The Gallery’s grand opening this fall. In addition to leveraging ties with the Yanceyville community and local media, marketing will expand its focus to surrounding towns, such as Reidsville, Roxboro, Mebane and Burlington, as well as, Greensboro and Durham. Interns will also assist in developing a strong internet presence through website development, social networking and e-newsletters. Furthermore, it is hoped that strong ties with the area residents can support a powerful word-of-mouth network that will raise awareness of The Gallery both locally and throughout the region. These ties will be fostered by hosting meet-and-greets with featured artists, providing a meeting space for amateur crafts groups, and partnering with Yanceyville’s First Fridays on the Square.
The Gallery is a project initiated by the Yanceyville NC STEP team, created through the Rural Center of North Carolina. Established as a subgroup under the charter of the non-profit Caswell 21st Century Development Corporation, The Gallery would not be possible if not for the support of the Rural Center, which is providing $66,000 in seed money for startup costs and initial operations.