The Yadkin Cultural Arts Center is a location for creativity, arts and community in Yadkin County. It is a privately owned facility, open to the public six days a week. The Center was created to provide a home for the arts and a gathering place for the community. It offers daily use of its three classrooms gratis to non-profits and for a nominal fee to trade organizations and businesses for seminar space. The classrooms are also used for book signings and author readings and meetings of the Historical Society.
The building housing the Center holds a rich history in downtown Yadkinville. It once housed a car dealership, Whiff’s barbecue restaurant, a roller rink and more.
The building was in a state of neglect and disuse when it was purchased by the arts council president who envisioned a permanent home for the arts inside the crumbling walls. He consequently gifted the 10,000 square foot building to the Yadkin Arts Council. And then he set about raising the funds to make it happen.
Ninety-eight percent of the $3.6 million renovation and building cost of the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center came from individuals, private businesses and grants. After four years of fundraising Phase I was complete, which included gutting the building and building the gallery, classrooms, staff offices, café, artist studios, plaza, stroll way and fountains.
The center was unveiled in September 2010, the day of the annual Yadkin Valley Harvest Festival, an arts council sponsored event. The public entered the completed building for the first time.
“I can’t believe we have something like this in Yadkinville,” was heard repeatedly as hundreds of people roamed the Welborn Gallery, the classrooms and café and stroll way of their region’s very own cultural center. It would take two more years to gather the funds needed to finish Phase II, the Willingham Theater, a 193-seat state of the art performing arts and movie theater.
The Yadkin Cultural Arts Center is an architectural gem, drawing visitors from far and wide that marvel at the beauty and planning behind the center. The Center would be right at home in a large metropolitan area or big city but fortunately for Yadkin Valley residents, it is right here in their own backyard.
The theater opened on December 1, 2012 with a showing of the rough and tumble action film Raiders of the Lost Ark, showcasing the dynamic sound system and state of the art projection system.
The Willingham Theater is the only venue for performances and films in Yadkin County.