Cabot Creative Center

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The cultural center concept began as a new building outside the downtown area, spanning 70,000 square feet. As the project progressed, an overwhelming desire was heard to have the space in the downtown district. 

Cabot’s downtown is small, and you could easily miss it driving through. Driving is key, the downtown is not pedestrian friendly, further complicating the location for a new space. Fortunately Mayor Kincade and Chamber Director Williams have a vision to bring downtown back to its glory, and in the past 6 months they declared a new arts district with the creation of a new local mural. They needed a centerpiece for the district, and the cultural center became the best option. 

Front Entryway Future
Artistic Rendering: Entryway of Cabot Creative Center
Coffee and Gallery
Artistic Rendering: Coffee Shop and Art Gallery

The Cabot Fire Department moved to their new location in 2018, leaving the old central station empty, waiting for its next tenant. The old fire station has a lot of history, previously serving as city hall, a police station, a senior-citizen center and a jail. Centrally located on Cabot’s two main highways (Highway 367/Highway 89), the old fire station will be remodeled into an arts/cultural center that will include classroom space, a restaurant/coffee shop, an art gallery, and a performance space. By providing multiple entertainment options, the center will be able to serve a community of all ages and interests as well as bring them to a central location within Cabot. 

CFAC will take own running the venue and overseeing the lease with the City of Cabot. The Cabot 2025 leadership team (Becky Williams, John Rudd, Mayor Kincade, Amy Williams) will lead the execution of this plan collectively. 

Restaurant and Bar
Artistic Rendering: Restaurant and Bar
Culinary Class
Artistic Rendering: Culinary Class Space
Classroom
Artistic Rendering: Classroom Space

Action Steps

1. FORM CAPITAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE

1. FORM CAPITAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE

WHO: Cabot 2025 Leadership Team

HOW: 20-30 members of the current steering committee and other residents of Cabot will form the steering committee. The committee will select 2-3 chairs who will lead. The committee will work to bring in a lead donor to make a 6-figure pledge* in order to have funding in the bank to pay staff and negotiate the lease. This committee may also serve as the original board of directors for the Cultural Center, choosing to join the board of CFAC if they are not already members.

*A note on fundraising: The fundraising campaign will span 5 years, meaning a donor can make a gift of $100,000 and pay $20,000/year over 5 years. A bridge loan will be secured to make up the amounts received in subsequent years.

WHEN: Q2 2020

2. TAKE OVER CONTROL OF FIREHOUSE

2. TAKE OVER CONTROL OF FIREHOUSE

WHO: Cabot 2025 Leadership Team

HOW: CFAC negotiates a fair market value lease of the space for at least a 10-year lease. The building needs a significant investment that will need to be rasied by the non-profit. This investment into the property should be discounted by the city when it comes to the monthly rental rate.

WHEN: Q2 2020

3. HIRE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

3. HIRE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

WHO: Capital Campaign Committee

HOW: Alchemy recommends hiring Becky Williams as the first executive director of the Cabot Creative Center. Becky will work alongside the Cabot 2025 Leadership Team and the Capital Campaign Committee to be the public face of the organization, and lead the programming execution of the CCC plan forward.

WHEN: Q3 2020

4. DETERMINE TRUE CAPITAL COSTS

4. DETERMINE TRUE CAPITAL COSTS

WHO: Capital Campaign Committee

HOW: Hire local architects and engineers to give true estimates for cost of construction. Alchemy estimates the space will need about $690,000 worth of construction and equipment costs at $115/square foot. The $690,000 number needs to be drilled down on and set. Get real renderings from the architect and use in promotional plan.

WHEN: Q3 2020

5. LAUNCH CAPITAL CAMPAIGN

5. LAUNCH CAPITAL CAMPAIGN

WHO: Capital Campaign Committee

HOW (Part 1): Using the fundraising list Alchemy created as a guide, add to the list by asking all CCC members to bring at least 3 names to the table of who can be asked to donate over $1,000. Create a timeline and map of who will ask who for funding, with one of the CCC chairs and Executive Director present at all asks of over $5,000.

HOW (Part 2): Create marketing and promotional materials both digital and to advertise the plan and leave behind with potential donors. Get the info online on a website (perhaps this site) and create a social media strategy for weekly engagement.

HOW (Part 3): Include at least 3 major events throughout the 12-18 months of fundraising to keep public engagement on the up and up.

WHEN: Q3 2020

6. IDENTIFY RENTAL PARTNERS

6. IDENTIFY RENTAL PARTNERS

WHO: Executive Director and CCC leadership

HOW (Part 1): Determine who will operate the coffeeshop and the restaurant/bar and negotiate lease terms.

HOW (Part 2): Option A: CCC raises all the funding and builds out space for the tenant, where tenant’s rent will be higher and cost to build will be amortized over time.
Option B: Tenant finances build out, meaning CCC’s capital funding amount decreases, but rent will also decrease

WHEN: Q3 2020

7. FINALIZE OPERATIONAL BUDGET

7. FINALIZE OPERATIONAL BUDGET

WHO: Executive Director

HOW: Identify and contract leaders for all classes, events and programming in the space. Use budget in this plan as a guide but remember these ideas are fluid and will change.

WHEN: Q4 2020

8. LAUNCH PROGRAMMING

8. LAUNCH PROGRAMMING

WHO: Executive Director

HOW: Ideally the space is ready to host at least 1 major event, even though construction has not started or is not complete. This is necessary to show the community what the building can be and will help lure the second/third round of donors who tend to be more fickle and want to see this space in action before they commit.

WHEN: Q4 2020

9. CONSTRUCTION & FUNDRAISING CONTINUES

9. CONSTRUCTION & FUNDRAISING CONTINUES

WHO: Executive Director and CCC leadership

HOW: There will be a lull in fundraising, you will need to constantly be looking for earned media and update the public. Social media is very important here. This is a reminder that this process is hard, and you will hear more “No’s” than “Yes’s.” Do not give up; it will all work out.

WHEN: Q1 – Q3 2021

10. GRAND OPENING

10. GRAND OPENING

WHO: Cabot 2025 Group, CCC, Executive Director

HOW: Congratulations! It’s your big day, make a big deal out of it!

WHEN: Q4 2021 – Q1 2022

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