Located in the historic courthouse, the Rowan County Arts Center is a place to bring together and display all the wonderful and diverse talents our community has to offer.
In 2003, at the request of the Rowan County Judge Executive, a group of citizens representing several community organizations, including the Morehead Art Guild, The Cave Run Arts Association, the Morehead Theatre Guild, and the Rowan County Historical Society, met with an architect to discuss the feasibility of approaching the Lucille Caudill Little Foundation for a $1 million grant to be matched by local funds which would be used to create the Rowan County Arts Center.
The need for such a facility was already well established. Although there were several organizations in Rowan County committed to the development and promotion of creativity and fine arts education for all age levels, there was no single, centrally located facility in the area where a comprehensive program of arts education, appreciation and performance for local citizens had first priority. The lack of such a facility seriously limited the amount of arts programming that could be provided. The principal goal of this project was set out as follows: to make available a dedicated facility within Rowan County where all its citizens, young and old, could have active experiences with the full spectrum of creative and performing arts, including but not limited to painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, music, dance, drama, and film.
To accomplish this goal, the old Rowan County Courthouse, which was built in 1899 and is arguably the most historically significant structure in Rowan County, would undergo restoration, part of which would return the grand bell tower to the southwest corner on the front of the building. The interior renovation would convert the previously abandoned array of old county offices into a working arts showplace, with a variety of well-appointed gallery, studio, and performance spaces.