Millennial Perspective: The importance of a Cultural Arts Center for Martin County


elise raffa
Elise Raffa, Arts Council Staff

In this day and age, it’s rare to attain a job in what you studied in college or despite even attending college or not- just a job that fulfills you. I consider myself truly lucky that I not only had the opportunity to study art in school, but go on to have a career working in the arts.

It was never my plan to stay in my hometown of Martin County because of the lack of art and culture. When I was first hired by the Arts Council, it was with the understanding I had plans of leaving to pursue an MFA in a city/state with better arts opportunities. As my hours grew to weeks and my weeks grew to months I became more aware and invested in the work I was doing- seeing the direct impact it had within my community.

Fast forward three years, I’m still here and as of recent have been working alongside a small team to push for what would be one of the biggest and most critical changes for the arts in Martin County, a cultural arts center/district. This project has been absolutely one of the most inspiring and fulfilling things I’ve ever been part of – the idea of my hometown having a thriving arts scene is something I never would’ve thought was possible.

On January 23rd,‬ we will be presenting our vision in a meeting of the City of Stuart, Martin County, and the School Board of Martin County at the Blake Library at 9AM. To those of you who live here, are from here, or just value this vision- I sincerely urge you to attend and help lobby. Securing support from our county’s officials is critical to move forward. We can be the change we want to see in our community.

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