Tapp’s Arts Center, the collection of galleries, studios, and performance venues that occupies its namesake former department store, will vacate the building in November.
The news about the center, which serves as a vital space for local artists to create and display their talents at the corner of Main and Blanding streets, came via an email sent out a little after 4 p.m. Thursday to those signed up for the center’s online newsletter.
“Tapp’s Arts Center has had eight wonderful years nestled in this quirky, large labyrinth of a department store shell,” the release states. “Started in 2011 with the understanding that the citizens of Columbia wanted a space to exercise their creativity, the project grew to become a multi-faceted resource allowing the public to commiserate about all the layers that construct life and humanity. As the artistic proposals proliferated, the Tapp’s building quickly transformed into a diverse community of curious humans exploring ideas and sharing inspiration.”
“Stay tuned for new projects and plans from the Tapp’s team,” reads the last sentence in the release, “and get excited about the transformation of this beautiful old historic landmark we call the Tapp’s Building!”
The email directed those seeking more information to reach out to Caitlin Bright, the center’s executive director, or Ashley Moore, the center’s director of operations and collaborations. Picking up Free Times’ call, Moore seemed shocked and tearful.
“We can’t make any statements right now,” she said. “We’re really upset.”
Free Times will update this story as more information becomes available.