Monarch Opens Arts Center in Southern Pines
The shared vision of several Moore County families and their loved ones has recently been fulfilled with the opening of the highly-anticipated Monarch Creative Arts & Community Center (MCACC), formerly Vocational LINKS.
The 12,000 sq. ft. center located at 1662 Richards Street in Southern Pines provides a new venue for Monarch’s day program, which supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and offers various activities and services. The space includes a pottery studio and kiln, art and dance studios, fitness space, full kitchen and a conference and meeting room. The center also contains a gift shop open to the public that sells unique items, decorative wreaths, gift baskets and seasonal gifts, which are often made by the people supported. A cutting-edge computer lab with the latest adaptive technology is soon planned for the center.
The arts and community center was designed to offer cultural arts and engagement opportunities for day program participants and the public. Local artists, community college faculty and staff and volunteers work with people who attend the program to help them to demonstrate and enhance their creativity through dance and drama, pottery and jewelry making, painting, cooking, gardening and other engaging activities. Local residents and community organizations are invited to join classes and workshops that are offered for the people supported.
Monarch officials said because they expect the center to truly be a community hub, longtime partners from Aberdeen, Carthage, Southern Pines, Pinehurst and Sandhills Community College are essential to the center’s progress and success, according to Dr. Peggy Terhune, Monarch’s chief executive officer. This project also demonstrates Monarchs commitment to the community, where it employs approximately 80 people in Moore County.
“I am thrilled there is now a community center that we hope will benefit so many people in the Southern Pines/Pinehurst communities,” Terhune said. “The MCACC will be a place where people can explore, learn and engage in numerous culturally enriching opportunities in a truly inclusive setting.”
Local parents and families said they are equally excited about the new opportunities the MCACC is providing within their community. Moore County residents Bill and Martha Collier, whose daughter Cathy is a supported by Monarch, believes the center could garner popularity across the state because of its uniqueness and the void it fills.
“The arts center provides a new and exciting direction for developmentally delayed consumers and its focus is on providing training for many new opportunities,” explained Bill Collier. “We believe the residents of this area will receive a pleasant surprise by visiting the center. With community support, the center can become the focus of statewide attention with the new and unique programs being developed there.”
The community is invited to tour the new building and see it firsthand. A free, public open house and ribbon-cutting will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 27 at the MCACC, 1662 Richards St., Southern Pines. To learn more about the programs offered at the MCACC or for details about the upcoming event, please call (910) 692-2936, Ext. 1802.
Monarch is nationally accredited by The Council on Quality and Leadership and is CABHA certified. An affiliate chapter of The Arc of North Carolina and The Arc of the United States, Monarch provides support statewide to thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance abuse challenges. To learn more about how Monarch is “Helping Dreams Take Flight” for people living in our communities, please call (800) 230-7525.