Central School Project (CSP) is a cooperatively-run non-profit community arts center located in the heart of the Bisbee, Arizona’s Historic District, and the home to KBRP, Bisbee’s community radio station. KBRP is dedicated to bringing culturally enriching programming to the Bisbee area. CSP is also home to Bisbee’s Obscure Productions (BOP), Bisbee’s local community theater company, and hosts all kinds of other community groups for various events.
CSP brought me to Bisbee for Bisbee Pride, and organized the Strong Words Series, a group of performances on identity. I interviewed CSP’s Director, Pete Goldlust, so I could provide a bit more information about the organization that had been such a joy to work with.
What is the core mission of Central School Project?
We have a three-part mission- providing affordable studio space to artists; providing arts programming for the Bisbee/Cochise County community; and keeping up with the historic preservation of our 100+ year-old building.
Do you have any more events or programs coming up?
Over the summer we host the LEAP program, which offers low-cost hands-on educational programming to local kids. They do everything from Creative Dance to Journalism/Media to studying the local wildlife. Then in the fall, we start our programming season, which will include our 2nd annual Day of the Dead exhibition/festival, and our Bisbee Biennial, plus visiting artists like Scott Williams, a wonderful painter who’s coming in from NY this winter.
What do you like best about the organization?
One of my favorite things is our Visiting Artist Program. It’s always fun to bring in talented people who are new to the area, and have something exciting to share. It was great to have you here!
How did you become involved, and what led to you becoming Director?
I became an artist member at CSP in 2008. I started doing more and more in terms of writing grants and public art proposals and stuff for myself, and that kind of led to me being interested in the administrative side of the art world. And then the job opened up last year… It’s been the most satisfying Real Job I’ve ever had.
Where do you see CSP going in the future?
I’d like to see us continue to grow the Visiting Artist Program, and explore new ways to provide inclusive opportunities for our whole community to be involved in the arts. I’d also like to build tighter partnerships with other organizations, both in Bisbee and around the state and region.
How can people more people and artists become involved, and what is the best way they can help support CSP’s mission?
Of course monetary support is always huge! Gifts help keep our programs going. Your dollar goes a long way in Bisbee. Please visit http://centralschoolproject.org/involved.html
…but of course, beyond that, we love it when folks come from out of town to our events. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll put you on our mailing list, so you can keep up on what’s happening down here. And of course, Like and follow us on facebook!
Is there anything else we should know about the organization?
Again, I’d say please just keep us in mind if you’re looking for art-partnerships of any kind. We love collaboration.