Melbourne, FL – Celebrating 35 years of service to the community, the Brevard Cultural Alliance has found a new home in the Eau Gallie Arts District in Melbourne, FL. The downtown area includes the Brevard Art Museum, several art galleries; is home to the Brevard Symphony Orchestra house, the Eau Gallie Library, Eau Gallie Pier, a Town Square, park, an art supply store & several restaurants.
BCA’s recent property acquisition will benefit from a portion of city and county taxes from the area made available for revitalization projects through the city’s establishment of a Community Redevelopment Area (CRA). Everyone living or doing business in the Eau Gallie area has been encouraged to participate in a multifaceted revitalization effort.
BCA’s five buildings with a total of 5,200 square feet will become the BCA Village through special partnerships and funding. Plans for the mixed use property include offices for the BCA with a resource area to serve arts and cultural organizations and individual artists and a conference room for community meetings.
With a matching grant from the Olde Eau Gallie Community Redevelopment Agency, the BCA will renovate the aging and blighted property on Guava Avenue. An additional grant from the Space Coast Office of Tourism will be utilized to renovate one of the buildings into a Tourist Information Center. The goal is to meet a need in the Arts District for a space to distribute materials directing visitors to the cultural amenities and activities in Brevard County. This space will also be the official headquarters of the Eau Gallie Arts District (EGAD). Together the BCA and EGAD will encourage additional renovations of commercial and residential properties to attract artists into the area to live and work.
“The real estate market in today’s economy provided an opportunity to make a move that hasn’t been possible up until now,” states Shellie Williams, director of the BCA. “Although Brevard County government has provided the BCA with offices in the Government Center in Viera the location hasn’t always been conducive to serving the arts community. People assume we are part of county government because of our location. They also assume the county provides all our funding, staffing and benefits.”
In fact, the BCA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that depends on public support. Williams believes the move to the Arts District will encourage more support of BCA programs as the public understands the contributions of the organization and its non-profit status serving the community. The support has started with partnerships and funding to help the BCA purchase and renovate property.
Spaces Magazine’s editorial board will be providing in-kind design services to do “make-overs” of several of the buildings. Local designers will be encouraged to utilize existing materials salvaged from the buildings, a small stipend and any gifts-in-kind they and the BCA may be able to solicit to turn the small spaces into attractive places for artists and others to rent in the heart of the Arts District.
Commercial interior designer Susan Perers and design students from Brevard Community College will transform a 1,700 square foot former triplex and garage into the BCA offices. The BCA office and tourist information center will be named after major donors Tom and Susie Wasdin. Other naming opportunities are available for the remaining buildings. Financing for the project was obtained through the Community Credit Union and renovations will begin in November by Rockledge-based Koehler Construction. For additional information about BCA programs visit www.ArtsBrevard.org. For more information about the project or to find ways to help call 321-690-6817.