Elm Street Cultural Arts Center. Elm Street Cultural Village. Elm’s Village of the Arts. I’ve heard many different versions of our organization’s name through the years in email, over the phone, in internet listings − you name it. Well, I have some exciting, and hopefully, easier to remember news for you. As of Aug. 1, Elm Street Cultural Arts Village officially will be rebranded as Woodstock Arts. If you’re curious how and why we got that new identity, here’s some quick context and background.
Towne Lake Arts Center (TLAC) was founded by performing artist Gay Lora Grooms in 2002 in a small blackbox-style theater building off Bells Ferry Road. In 2010, Gay and visual artists Shawn McLeod and Ann Litrel developed a vision for a multi-disciplinary art center. TLAC was reinvented as Elm Street Cultural Arts Village, moving to the former historic Woodstock Baptist Church on Main Street, and on Elm Street as part of a 4-acre property in downtown Woodstock.
In August 2019, staff, board members and stakeholders held an initial meeting with local businesses and organizations, including Reformation Brewery, officials from Woodstock and the Cherokee Office of Economic Development, along with Tom Cox, a designer whose portfolio includes Coca-Cola, Surge and Holiday Inn, to name a few. We were gearing up for our biggest theatrical season yet, the second year of our outdoor concert lineup, the Lantern Series, and working on projects such as the Reeves House, as well as the natural playground collaboration with Woodstock. With exciting growth in our future, it was an opportune time to discuss a new identity and image that would be able to grow with us and welcome as many people into our organization as possible.
What came out of those meetings and sessions almost two years later was a simple and clear brand identity as Woodstock Arts: where we are, and what we do. Tom also helped us hone in on our vision of art being the heartbeat of community.
With the opening of the Reeves House in May, many exciting things have happened.
• A celebration of local and regional artists in the gallery with our inaugural exhibit and a schedule of rotating shows.
• Expanded class offerings for all ages in visual arts, pottery and ceramics, as well as a return of regular theater and improv classes.
• Ways to connect to all kinds of art through free community events.
• Evenings under the stars with live music and the company of neighbors at the Lantern Series concerts.
• The story and songs of Junie B. Jones will officially welcome audiences back into the theater with multi-weekend shows beginning July 7.
Visit https://elmstreetarts.org/events/ for a full schedule of events.
Our community is growing, and we want to be sure everyone knows who we are, our passion for the arts and this community. As you start to see more posters, social media posts, internet listings, etc., with the name Woodstock Arts, know it’s the same organization you’ve come to know and support since 2002. Woodstock Arts can’t wait to welcome you!
– Justin Spainhour-Roth, marketing manager for Elm Street Cultural Arts Village, has a bachelor of arts in communication in musical theater from Bowling Green State University.