“Callanwolde to expand facilities to grow arts services for underserved,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Living & Arts reporter Elizabeth Crumbly recently sat down with Callanwolde Foundation Board President Glenn Warren, Jr. and Callanwolde Fine Arts Center Executive Director Andrew Keenan to discuss the Build. Inspire. Grow. capital campaign that will fund a transformative renovation and construction project — expanding the community arts center’s ability to provide access to the arts to the community.

Callanwolde Fine Arts Center is a phoenix flown from the ashes if there ever was one. Gleaming woodwork, soaring ceilings, immaculate grounds and a custom pipe organ twined through the bones of the main house made the estate one of Atlanta’s finest before it fell into ruin and faced possible demolition in the early 1970s. Because of a community and a family that stood by it, however, Callanwolde found a second life as a fine arts center. Now, a planned expansion is set to position it as a go-to arts resource for area populations who might not otherwise be served.
“Callanwolde was saved by individuals in the community, and it’s a really good formula,” Keenan said. “We relied on earned revenue for a long time. … Now, with all the work we’re doing with underserved communities, we’re having to rely on contributions.”
The current facilities are at capacity, and the need for access to quality arts classes and programming exceeds Callanwolde’s current availability. The new structures will allow Callanwolde to serve double the number of participants who currently come for art, dance, pottery instruction and more.
The planned Mr. and Mrs. William C. Warren III Flex Arts Building, at nearly 10,300 square feet, will house studios for dance, painting and drawing overlooking a swath of Atlanta’s signature forest. A pottery building — at just under 2,300 square feet — will house two new studios upstairs, allow for an expansion of the existing outdoor kiln yard, and will accommodate workspaces for four new pottery program assistants. Moving those classes to the new facilities will allow for additional yoga, gallery space and poetry and creative writing instruction in the historic mansion.
“It will be transformational for the neighborhood, for greater DeKalb County,” shared Warren. “It will allow Callanwolde to do so many more things with the underserved … I’m really excited to get shovels in the ground.”

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