WINSTON-SALEM — The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) has seen a steady increase in attendance year-over-year since reopening in 2009 as part of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.
During fiscal year 2011-12, SECCA experienced a 7.1 percent annual increase in visitation over the previous year. To date attendance continues to rise since July, including a 40 percent increase during September.
An affiliate of the N.C. Museum of Art within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, SECCA’s mission is to enhance perspectives, inspire community and ignite new ideas.
SECCA’s Executive Director Mark Leach attributes much of the museum’s success to the ability to match exhibitions with audience interests. “Our exhibition Out of Fashion provided a platform for young North Carolina fiber and fashion artists,” said Leach. The show, which ran from November 2011 through March 2012, was remarkably diverse, and attracted many design students from across North Carolina. The exhibition is now on loan to another North Carolina cultural attraction, the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington. The show has been equally popular there.
“We do these types of shows and related programming because we see community service as part of our mission, added Leach. “We feel this not only engages, but also gives the people of North Carolina an excellent value in their own communities.”
In addition to Out of Fashion, SECCA has shown other artists from the state including Anne Kesler Shields and Frank Selby. “Both of these artists exemplify the caliber of North Carolina’s artistic excellence and we are proud to showcase home state talent here at SECCA,” Leach continues.
SECCA also is focusing attention on growing its concert audience as attendees are more likely to be repeat visitors. Its 294 seat auditorium was upfitted through $250,000 in private donations last year. This state-of-the-art venue now hosts The Crossroads Concert Series and includes such top names as The Blind Boys of Alabama, who will be in concert on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 3 p.m.
Finally the successful collaboration with various community partners such as The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, the James G. Hanes Memorial Foundation, Forsyth Technical Institute, the North Carolina School of the Arts, and Wake Forest University all help to foster SECCAS’s growing success.
SECCA is a unit of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. For more information on North Carolina arts, history and culture, visit Cultural Resources online.