Mt. Pleasant to consider accepting donations for community arts center

VIDEO: Mt. Pleasant to consider accepting donations for community arts center

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - People who live in the town of Mount Pleasant may have the chance to donate to an effort to raise money to build a new community arts center for the area.

The discussion is in the early stages and town council members debated Monday whether the new center should be run by the town or a nonprofit organization. But council at Monday’s meeting say they support the idea of expanding opportunities for the arts within Mount Pleasant.

“I think there’s a strong pull in this community to support the arts, because we don’t have anything like that," Council Member Guang Ming Whitley said. "We have plenty of ball fields but we don’t have an arts center.”

Whitley says the town’s Cultural Arts and Pride Commission would like to raise funds that would go toward the construction.

“We funded that art study; it shows that we have a need to support the arts in this town," Whitley said. "Rent is very expensive for artists. Gallery space is at a premium.”

Council members on the finance committee raised questions about whether there will be enough donations to build a center, where the money would go if funding comes up short for construction, and who would lead the efforts.

Council member Tom O’Rourke suggested that if money raised wasn’t enough for a building, then it could go towards art programs in the town.

“We’re just trying to keep the momentum rolling and to excite an interest group that could have the possibility of raising real money for this, not only construction money but operating money,” O’Rourke said.

The committee voted Monday for town council to review this proposal again. Council approval is required to create this fund.

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