Scope and Contents
This collection contains the records of the Art Council of the Lower Cape Fear (ACLCF). Established as a non-profit organization in 1972, the ACLCF was dedicated to "the living arts and to the enrichment of heritage of the Cape Fear region" until it disbanded in 2002. Records date predominately from the late 1980s through 2002.
Copyright retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Biographical / Historical
In its earliest incarnation, the ACLCF undertook a wide range of programming, including artist workshops, theater productions, art and photography exhibits, and community festivals. The Piney Woods Arts and Crafts Festival, established in the 1970s, remained a centerpiece of the council's community impact through 2002. Held annually in Hugh MacRae park, this juried art show highlighted both local and regional artists. Demonstrators at the festival encouraged hands-on participation of festival goers and performers entertained them with song, dance, and storytelling.
Beginning in the mid 1970s, the ACLCF produced a monthly newsletter, initially named Artslink and later changed to Arts in Action. These newsletters related the goings-on of the arts community to Wilmington at large. A selection of these newsletters are housed in this collection.
In the early 1980s, the ACLCF expanded the scope of its community impact by establishing the St. Thomas Celebration of the Arts. This festival offered visual and performing arts to the community and raised funds for the renovation of St. Thomas Church into a performing arts center. This period of the Arts Council's history is largely out of the scope of this collection.
By the late 1980s the council drew up a Cultural Action Plan in hopes of inventorying Wilmington's cultural resources. This plan reevaluated the effectiveness of the council's work and shifted the focus of the group from programming to providing technical support to existing agencies. Programs like the Piney Woods Festival would continue, but the ACLCF would now act as a governing agent for state grants from the North Carolina Arts Council. The ACLCF worked to distribute funds through grant programs like Grassroots, Emerging Artists and Regional Artists. Through these grant programs, the council provided local cultural organizations and artists with the funds needed to attain their goals and thereby enrich the local arts community. The records from these grants comprise the bulk of this collection.