On September 30th, 1963 a group of people met in the library at Central High School (known as the 9th Grade Academy in 2005) for the purpose of organizing the Fayetteville and Lincoln County Art League. The Reverend Douglas Girardean called the meeting to order. The meeting started with a very interesting talk by a guest speaker Mr. Fred Womack. It was decided that they would meet the 2nd and 4th Monday Nights. Dues were established at $5.00 per year and $1.50 for students.
The first set of officers were elected, they were:
President: Ford Scott Secretary: Mrs. Curtis Bomer
Vice President: Mrs. Fred Boswell Treasurer: Reverend Douglas Girardean
The Charter Members listed were:
Mrs. Kitty Bingham
Mrs. Fred Broswell
Mrs. Havelon Garish
Mrs. Anne Bomer
Mrs. Ruth Clark
Mrs. Myrtle Earner
The Art League met at the Farm Bureau building for a while prior to moving to the first Fayetteville Art Gallery (Art Attic) located above the Kuhn’s Five and Dime store located on the east side of the public square, and which was sponsored by the Fayetteville Art League. (The Kuhn’s store burned to the ground many years later and the City Municipal Building was built in its place. – 2005) The purpose of the Art Gallery was to promote and encourage understanding, appreciation and creativeness of Art and to give interested citizens of Fayetteville and Lincoln County a place to display Arts and Crafts.
The Art League moved it’s operations to the Old Henson House at 201 N. Franklin Ave where it had use of the house rent-free thanks to the courtesy of the Lincoln County Bank. It was then know as the ‘House of Art.’
In February 1975 The Art League obtains it first “real” home when William R. Carter CEO of CFW and a former President of the Art League deeds the Grace Presbyterian Church at 303 South Main to the Art League.
The Grace Presbyterian Church was built in 1910 and used until 1925 as a church. It was vacant for several years after that and then was the home of Fayetteville First Federal Savings and Loan. After the Fayetteville First Federal Savings and Loan left the building it changed hands many times.
During its history it has been used for:
– A polling station
– Tennessee State Checkers Tournament
– Golden Glove Boxing Events and Wrestling Events
– Mormon Church
– American Legion
– A non-alcoholic club for High School Students called the ‘Jitterbug Jug’
– Boys and Cub Scouts
– T & M Music Co. used the building prior to the donation to the Art League
In 1975 the Art League leaders upon receiving Mr. Carter gracious donation stated that although plan for renovation of the property have not been made, they hope to turn the building into a Civic Center for use by various groups.
In April 1975 Business and Local industries have assisted the Art League in replacing windows on the south side of the building. Wrought iron railings for the steps were donated and installed by Davidson Iron Works. A 10-foot step ladder and paint for the main floor was donated by Builder Supply Co. The Serbin Manufacturing Co. & Union National Bank donated money for windows. Williams Lumber Company donated ceiling paint, and paint for the basement. Crawford Supply donated much needed bathroom fixtures.
On January 26, 2006, the Art League changed their name to The Fayetteville-Lincoln County Arts Center, Inc. and became an umbrella organization for two other art related organizations. The three divisions of the newly formed Arts Center were:
General Member – Fayetteville Art League Division, General Member – Elk Valley Crafters Division, General Member – Arts Council Division
On July 13, 2012, the Arts Council terminated operations after 11 years.
In September 2014, Ron Hackett and Taylor Hoch joined the Art League Division and formed the Lincoln County Performing Arts Association. They became hosting weekly performing arts shows in the classroom (basement) of the Arts Center. After two years in the classroom, the shows moved to the gallery are are now hosted on the first and third Saturdays of each month from October through April. The performing arts shows shutdown during the summer, because attendance drops dramatically.
In 2016, local artist Melanie Laten started an annual art and music scholarship program through Arts Center. Funds are raised throughout the year, and scholarships are awarded in March to coincide with National Children’s Art month.
In Dec 2017, Elk Valley Crafters split from the corporation to form their own corporation.
to enhance the quality of life in the Fayetteville-Lincoln County community through the presentation, education, and promotion of all art disciplines including visual, conceptual, and performing arts.