The Center for Community Arts is a multicultural education organization whose arts and humanities programs foster creativity, community building, and appreciation for the rich diversity of our world.
We run year-round arts programming, coupled with efforts to preserve and communicate Cape May's rich and diverse history. Our programs have developed a fine track record of opening community dialogue and promoting interaction across social and economic groups. Read more about our programming here.
We have changed lives and will continue to build into our wonderful community. Join us, become a member of the Center for Community Arts.
Center for Community Arts (CCA) was founded in 1995 by 12 women artists and community activists. These women, 6 African American and 6 white, parents, grandparents, and concerned citizens, met around a kitchen table over a six-month period.
The group was motivated by the desire to 1) address racially charged discussions in the community, 2) provide positive activities for local youth and 3) offer a vehicle for local artists to be supportive of and supported by their community. CCA's mission statement was honed in these discussions and is one to which the organization's board, staff, members, and volunteers remain strongly committed: to foster creativity, community building and appreciation for the rich diversity of our world through arts and humanities programs that reach out to underserved populations.
Two of the organization's current major programs were launched in CCA's first year. The Youth Arts Program (YAP) began in January 1996 as a weekly three-hour program on Saturday nights, run by the founders and other volunteers in a free space provided by a local church.
The Community History Program was the outgrowth of the group's efforts to save the Franklin Street School, a formerly segregated African American elementary school and one of the few buildings in Cape May that still stands as testament to the contributions African Americans made to Cape May's development. At the time of CCA's founding, the building stood vacant and deteriorating, while the city turned down numerous requests from leaders in the African American community to put it to use.
Address: 717 Franklin Street, Cape May, NJ 08204