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Elizabethton Arts and Cultural Alliance…a vibrant vision

BY BRITTNEE NAVE
STAR CORRESPONDENT
A vibrant vision drives the Elizabethton Arts and Cultural Alliance. 
 
The nonprofit organization was founded in 2016. Their purpose aims to see the town and community more vibrant, together and participating in art. 
 
Robert Benfield, who currently serves as treasurer, is the founder of this organization. 
 
“It came about because of seeing young people and people with kids looking for more in town,” he explained. “They were looking for more. They were looking for more stuff to do in town and wanting to raise their kids here and be able to experience things like art and music and be part of the town.”
 
After researching the transformative powers art can bring to a community, he realized it was a good route to pursue. Benfield believes art, especially in times like what we are in now, is needed in the community. 
 
The organization has worked with various groups (Bonnie Kate, the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library, Parks and Rec, etc.) since it’s founding, in aspects like volunteering, etc.
 
Benfield believes one of the best parts about art, in general, is how far-reaching it can be.
 
He explained that art can be beneficial to areas economically, drawing visitors and even residents, while at the same time positively impacting the minds of those exposed to it as well.
 
“Art tends to become and build that fabric of an area,” he said. “It lifts people up in many ways and gives life to the community.”
 
Benfield described how art has survived the test of time, existing past the worst that centuries had to offer, remaining a constant.
 
Currently, the organization is working towards a program called Gratitude in which people are asked to submit photos in a square format of what they are thankful for. More information about this project is going to be forthcoming soon. 
 
For those interested in lending a hand, the organization is open to it.
 
Volunteers do not have to be artists, instead they can have other needed skills, for example accounting or website aid.
 
Additionally, with projects, they are also always looking for volunteers to help set up, etc. Sponsors are also welcome to the organization as well.
 
For more information on the Elizabethton Arts and Cultural Alliance, go to www.elizalliance.org