Cramerton storefront for arts and recreation to open on Friday

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A new downtown space is slated to open this weekend, combining the arts with Cramerton’s outdoor recreation.

Confluence, located at 117 Center St., is the result of a partnership between the non-profit Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation and the City of Cramerton, and the space is designed to promote the arts, the health of the South Fork River and Cramerton Parks and Recreation’s amenities.

The redesigned space includes an art gallery, a space for an artist to work and host classes, a bar, a stage, and more.

Stephanie Newman, the coordinator of Confluence, said Confluence will also have bikes, fishing poles, disc golf discs and cornhole bags for rent, and people renting these amenities can bring them to Goat Island in Cramerton for use.

The exterior of Confluence on Center Street in Cramerton, Thursday morning 3rd November 2022.

Confluence opens at 4:30 p.m. on Friday afternoons. There will be a concert on Friday evening − Elonzo Wesley will perform at 7pm; There will also be free yoga on Saturday at 8am and Nathan Dowdy and The Hwy will perform on Saturday at 7pm.

There are also other events this fall and winter, including a bike parade, a downtown run called the Egg Nog Jog, weekly yoga classes and art classes, Newman said.

Organizers have not yet determined which artist will be part of their artist-in-residence program, but they will launch that program in the spring. This program aims to employ a new artist every three to four months.

“We’re really excited to welcome everyone out there,” Newman said. “We can’t wait to be fully open and to be part of the community and to be a kind of gathering where people can come together.” Confluence’s operations depend on two grants that Cramerton made to Catawba Riverkeeper — one for $200,000 to renovate the building and another $50,000 annually to run Confluence.

Newman said she is grateful for the support of Cramerton City officials who have championed the project.

“We’re really grateful to be a part of Cramerton and to have the support of the City of Cramerton so that any investment goes back to the community and to protecting our waters,” she said.

Reporter Kara Fohner can be reached at 704-869-1850 or at [email protected]