The search for a new, permanent home has reached an exciting conclusion for the Clifton Cultural Arts Center. The community arts center will remain in Clifton, just a half mile south of its original location, with a newly constructed home in the heart of the neighborhood.
CCAC recently entered into a purchase and sale agreement with Dewey’s Pizza for the vacant land located at 3412 Clifton Ave. A creative collaboration between this longtime local business and the CCAC will activate a lot just north and east of the intersection of Ludlow and Clifton avenues.
CCAC opened its doors in 2008 in the historic Clifton School building, which it leased from Cincinnati Public Schools for nearly a decade, until the facility was needed for a neighborhood school. In late 2018, CCAC relocated its administrative offices to 2728 Short Vine Street, while offering classes, exhibitions and events at several partner locations. CCAC plans to operate out of this temporary location until construction is complete on the permanent home.
During the nearly two-year search, an 18-member volunteer relocation task force – made up of arts, philanthropic, business and community leaders – helped explore nearly 30 prospective sites in and near Clifton. In addition, CCAC conducted dozens of community feedback sessions attended by hundreds of neighbors and patrons.
Emersion Design has been selected to design an 18,000 square foot multi-use community arts center to accommodate multidisciplinary educational rooms, two art galleries, a maker space, plus studio, performance and rehearsal spaces. The permanent space will allow CCAC to continue and broaden its service to more than 40,000 individuals annually through free or low-cost programs, classes and events.
“We’re so appreciative to the task force, community leaders, our staff and volunteers for providing their time and energy to help us find the perfect location for a new home,” said Leslie Mooney, CCAC executive director. “In a time of global pandemic and mandated physical distancing, we realize now more than ever before how important it is to build community, and we look forward to the time when we can come together through the arts once again. We’re so thankful for the community’s support from the beginning, during this transitional period, and going forward as we map out the future of CCAC.”
Philanthropist Otto Budig and his fellow CCAC Relocation Task Force co-chairs, Mu Sinclaire and Abby Moran, have agreed to also steer campaign fundraising efforts for CCAC’s new home, which will commence later this year. More than 25 percent has already been secured toward the anticipated $8.5 million project.
“It’s not every day that an established community arts organization, and a local business family unite to create a groundbreaking opportunity for community advancement,” said Budig. “We could not be more pleased with the location of the new home and this community win-win that was achieved when Dewey’s Pizza and CCAC came together around a visionary and transformative project to serve the community.”
Dewey’s Pizza has operated at 265 Hosea Ave. in Clifton, nearly adjacent to the new CCAC site, since 2003. There are now eight Dewey’s Pizza locations in Greater Cincinnati.
“Similar to CCAC’s mission to bring people together through art, nourishing our community is the vision of Dewey’s Pizza,” said Andrew DeWitt, chairman. “The partnership with a well-respected community nonprofit enhances our Clifton community and our neighborhood business district overall. We are excited to make this corridor even more vibrant with the CCAC for the individuals, children and families we serve.”
CCAC fosters successful, healthy children, adults and communities through participation in the cultural arts. The center serves 40,000 individuals annually in Clifton and surrounding neighborhoods through free and low-cost opportunities for the diverse residents of Uptown Cincinnati.