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Carnegie reports increased attendance in annual report
Families from around the region came to the Carnegie Arts Center in February 2016 for the 100-year anniversary celebration of the original Carnegie building, including Alexia Hermosillo, Victor Favela and Brene Favela who admired Osborn Two-Way Immersion student Stella Dorsey's Ferris Wheel House of the Future exhibit. - photo by Journal file photo

The Carnegie Arts Center is continuing to expand its reach in the region as a destination arts venue, with more visitors coming to the gallery for exhibits, theater performances, and special events, according to the annual report released this week.

The Carnegie Arts Center gave their annual report to the Turlock City Council on Tuesday and it showed more than 18,000 people visited the Carnegie in 2016, which is an increase from the estimated 16,000 that passed through the doors in 2015.

“We see the Carnegie growing in the community in a way that is gratifying to all of us,” said Carnegie Arts Center Director Lisa McDermott.

Much of the Carnegie Art Center’s calendar for 2016 was built around the celebration of the centennial anniversary of the Carnegie Library in Turlock. In a wave of altruism, industrialist Andrew Carnegie took on a campaign to promote education and literacy in the United States by building libraries across the country. Turlock was one of the communities to benefit from his philanthropy and in 1916 the Carnegie Library opened.

Over the year, the Carnegie Arts Center marked the milestone with special events and exhibits, community activities, a membership drive and a commemorative book.

All total, the Carnegie Arts Center hosted 14 exhibits that drew in 5,478 visitors to the gallery. They also held 64 programs and special events that were attended by 5,564 people.

A portion of the Carnegie Arts Center’s programming is designed around art education for youth. The Carnegie Arts Center hosted 38 schools for various exhibits and theater performances, including two from the LightBox Theater Company. The Carnegie set a goal to have 25 percent or more of the programming geared toward youth and McDermott said they “continue to meet and exceed that goal.”

The Center also continued to see growth with the Discover Art Field Trip program, which provides specialized classes to grades from pre-kindergarten to high school.

“Our field trip program has the largest impact out of all the things we do at the Carnegie,” McDermott said.

For the year, the Carnegie Arts Center offered 20 classes that had a total of 167 enrollees.

The Carnegie Arts Center’s 81 volunteers worked a total of 2,543 hours.

“We are always grateful for our volunteers and the hours they put in,” McDermott said.

The total unrestricted revenue for the financial year 2015-16 was $371,427 and the total expenses for the same time was at $419,521. McDermott said in the report that a revenue shortfall was anticipated for the year, in part due to the addition of a part-time staff position and an increase in the number of events held in recognition of the centennial.