On 250 N. Broadway in Turlock, you will find the Carnegie Arts Center. The Carnegie Arts Center Foundation is a non-profit organization that was once a Carnegie Library that opened in 1916 and is one of 3,000 public libraries across the United States.

Carnegie Center was funded by millionaire, industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who believed in the power of education and opportunities provided by public libraries. The center had served as Turlock’s library until 1968 and has been used as an arts center since 1979.

In November 2005, a fire destroyed everything. The City of Turlock and the Carnegie Arts Center partnered up and decided to rebuild and expand the facility about three times larger than what it was before. 

The renovated Carnegie Arts Center opened in September 2011 and still contains fire-damaged walls that are visible inside the new wing of the building as a symbol of community resolve and resilience.

The Carnegie Arts Center offers programs to the community which include art exhibitions, educational classes and programs, lectures and activities in artistic genres through dance, music, and theatre. It is stated on their website that at least 25% of their programming is dedicated to children and teens.

Carnegie Arts Center Director, Lisa McDermott, shared what the Center offers to the general public.

 “Music, poetry, dance, theatre, if it’s creative it has a place here,” stated McDermott.

Art historians, writers, musicians, and artists attend the Carnegie Arts Center every year and show case their work through exhibitions and events. There are jury exhibitions where anyone can submit their work of art and be selected as one of the candidates to show their work in the exhibition.

McDermott also mentioned that the Carnegie Center features artwork from regional artists who live and work in the area, but also displays art that is usually found in other art museums. This allows the community to save time traveling outside of town to view the art.

The Carnegie Arts Center also provides venue rentals for weddings, corporate events and meetings, cocktail and networking events, as well as banquets and private parties.

Memberships are also offered to help support exhibitions and programs. There are many memberships levels that include benefits, detailed perks, and exhibit previews.

The Carnegie Arts Center Foundation also recruits volunteers who are interested serving as gallery attendants, doing clerical work, helping in the gift shop, attending special events, and being a part of the Volunteer Guild.

Volunteers receive all of the training necessary and related to exhibitions, programs, and the history of the Carnegie through lectures, presentations, demonstrations, and field trips.

Stan State student, Christina Ochoa (sophomore, Business), recalled her volunteer experience at the Carnegie Arts Center.

“It was fun to interact with the children and families during the Family Friday events and being able to hand out tickets and fliers for the theatre shows was also enjoyable. I learned a lot about the history of the Carnegie Arts Center and how it all began as well as all the different ways they are involved in the community,” explained Ochoa.

Joseph Diryawush, (junior, Business) shared his experience as a volunteer.

“I had a great experience volunteering there. The staff was super friendly and helped in teaching us our roles during our time there. They were also very flexible in the times we could come in.”

Many Stan State students visit the Carnegie Arts Center to view art and attend events whether it’s for an art class, business class, or internship with Stan State’s Art Department.

There is also a calendar that lists the upcoming events for every month. Some upcoming events and exhibitions start in January 17 up until August 31, 2018.

The Carnegie Arts Center is open from Wednesday-Saturday 10 am-5pm, Fridays 10 am- 8 pm, and Sundays 12 pm-4 pm. Hours may vary on holidays.

To donate to the center or for more information visit their website or call (209) 632-5761.

Reporter and Writer

I am a senior at California State University Stanislaus (Stan State) with a Communication Studies major and minor in Psychology.

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