Cleburne Friends of the Cultural Arts members attended Tuesday’s Cleburne City Council meeting, along with representatives from the Greater Cleburne Carnegie Players and other local arts groups, to request use of a bank building purchased by the city several years ago.
The group hopes to turn the vacant bank building into a cultural arts complex.
“A cultural arts complex will draw tourists and increase revenue for the city of Cleburne,” CFCA President Alden Nellis said. “It will provide a much needed central location for all the arts groups and serve as a center where tourists can sample what else to see and do in Cleburne.”
The building would bring groups such as the Cleburne Camera Club, Johnson County Art Guild and others under one roof and provide a place for information on other Cleburne attractions such as the Layland Museum and the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum.
“I see it as a center of rotating exhibits and activities,” Nellis said. “A place that would help attract noted artists, photographers and performers to Cleburne.”
The center would also provide a permanent and highly visible home to the Carnegie Players, who now stage out of the Cleburne Performing Arts Center and previously used the upstairs theater in the Layland Museum.
Carnegie President Barry Swindall said the group has provided Cleburne with quality community theater for 36 years, but now faces budget and visibility challenges.
“The fact that we’ve never been able to have a permanent sign like the Plaza Theatre [Co.],” Swindall said. “I think this move would give us an identity in one location right on the main drag. I think, since Plaza is just down the street, it would give Cleburne a theater district feel. I also think this has great potential not just for Carnegie, but for all the arts groups in Cleburne. People come in from outside the city to see a play and they also see all the other things Cleburne has to offer.”