By Ceili Gatley
The Lincoln City Cultural Center (LCCC), located in the small coastal town of Lincoln City, is a space that celebrates art, culture, and community. LCCC is housed in the historic Delake School and has operated there since 2007. LCCC is thrilled to be able to break ground on capital renovations on the school. In partnership with community and regional organizations like the local Kiwanis Club and the Sisters, OR-based Roundhouse Foundation, the LCCC will construct an outdoor plaza space with enhanced mobility featuring local artists and an outdoor learning space for kids.
The LCCC’s mission is to “enrich our community through art and cultural events in the historic Delake School. Our vision is to have the Lincoln City Cultural Center support community economic development by promoting a thriving center for the visual and performance arts.”
The organization began more than 25 years ago, with visual artists seeing a need to showcase art. It started as a small gallery open for a few hours a week. In 2002, Lincoln City purchased the Delake School building. The City of Lincoln City owns the property, and the center partners with the city government to provide essential art and event resources.
“We moved into the facility officially around 2006-07 as our own space for events and showcasing local art,” said Niki Price, executive director at the LCCC.
Price has been with the center for 11 years.
“The purpose of the space is to connect the community with arts and culture. It has an auditorium, meeting spaces, classrooms that serve as artist studios, a fine arts gallery, yoga studio, dance studio, meeting room, community kitchen, and more spaces available for programs for all age groups,” said Price.
“We have a full-time staff with knowledge and skills in different areas and of the equipment and space that we can do work for anybody to use it,” she continued.
The idea for an improved outdoor plaza area has been evolving for five years, and as they went through design ideas and discovered different areas of need for an outdoor space, more specific designs came about. The center is working towards a revamped outdoor space in the “backyard” of the LCCC with improved parking, easier accessibility, an outdoor classroom for kids to use, and an outdoor space to showcase art.
Joan Prins, a community member for the last 27 years, joined and volunteered with the Lincoln City Kiwanis Club. The club had collaborated with the LCCC for many years, mainly focusing on programs for kids. Prins wanted to take on a project for Kiwanis in collaboration with the LCCC, and she saw an opportunity to create a smaller, child-focused area within the larger plaza renovation project.
Once Prins began diving into the numbers of a project she was envisioning, she became overwhelmed by the cost of creating a sort of outdoor classroom type of space.
“I had the idea to involve local businesses and artists,” said Prins.
Dreamland Skate Parks LLC, based in Lincoln City, builds specialty concrete sculptures and skate parks nationwide. Prins had the idea of connecting the project with the theme of Lincoln City – the octopus. The team at Dreamland set to work on centering a concrete octopus and incorporating the work of a local mosaic artist Joanne Daschel’s artwork inlaid into the area, portraying an oceanic landscape.
“We have great artists helping with the renovation, and we wanted to have a plaza that is kids-oriented with kids and families in mind,” said Prins.
Kiwanis fronted the initial $5,000 cost and received a $3,000 grant from the Pacific Northwest Kiwanis Foundation for the project. Overall, they were still paralyzed by the cost of concrete, artists, and construction. Prins was fighting the money battle on her own, with a $10,000 budget and her vision before COVID hit, halting the process and increasing the cost.
Niki Price and Joan Prins partner closely with Kiwanis and the LCCC. Price had heard of The Roundhouse Foundation from members of the LCCC and encouraged Prins to reach out to Erin Borla at Roundhouse Foundation.
“She was excited about our project! Especially that it was for kids and especially that she knew we really wanted to involve local artists and keep the money here in town,” said Prins.
Prins, Borla, and Price, met via Zoom to discuss the overall project. After that call, Roundhouse Foundation awarded a grant of $100,000 to the LCCC, of which $40,000 was for the Kiwanis project.
With the grant, they can support Dreamland Skateparks in constructing the eight-foot-tall octopus structure for kids to climb, benches for seating, and an outdoor classroom area with a portable table in the Kiwanis Plaza.
The LCCC put out the project for a contracting bid last fall and has now secured a contractor to continue with the job.
“We’ve been waiting so long to get this done, and this spring, we will be breaking ground,” said Prins.
“The arts education area that the Roundhouse is sponsoring is a place people can have outdoor art classes, kids can have lunch outside, a place that’s sheltered away from the highway and people can sit and enjoy themselves, surrounded by these art pieces,” said Price.
Prins said, “It allows Kiwanis to tell people what our vision is; we will have a sign there to signify what Kiwanis means, that we give back to the community and that we support all things that give back to kids in our community and beyond,” said Prins. “Without the generosity of the Roundhouse Foundation, our portion of this would never have taken place; we appreciate the help we got from beyond our community.”
The LCCC is planning on breaking ground in the Spring of 2023. You can see updates on the plaza’s renovation on YouTube with video renderings to get a feel of what the grounds will look like. You can find that video here.