White Bear Center for the Arts
4971 Long Ave
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
- Art Discussion/Lecture
- Creative Writing
- Fused Glass
The White Bear Center for the Arts (WBCA) was originally formed in 1968 as the White Bear Arts Council by a group of area residents who shared a passion for the arts and wanted to see them fostered in their community. In May of 1996, upon acquiring some space in the local Armory, the organization and its members officially changed its name to White Bear Center for the Arts.
WBCA strongly believes the concepts experienced in the study and making of art heighten broad thinking skills such as imagination, innovation, experimentation, and problem solving. White Bear Center for the Arts offers more than 240 different art classes each year at our facility in downtown White Bear and at Tamarack Nature Center, as well as after-school art enrichment classes in several districts during the school year. More than 200 high school students participate each year in WriteNow! our annual high school writing contest (short stories, essay, poetry and one-act plays) . Our many family events include an annual sandcastle/creature building contest now serving its third generation of participants!
In addition to teaching at the Center, area artists have the opportunity to exhibit and sell their work at Northern Lights, an annual juried fine arts exhibition held each March in collaboration with Century College. Our annual fundraising event ArtWatch also celebrates and helps bring exposure to artists, by inviting 40-50 artists to work side by side, creating works of art in public. At the end of the evening, all art is completed and included in a silent auction. The WBCA also coordinates the display of local artists’ work on a rotating basis with area businesses, such as coffee shops, an athletic club, and in the lobby of our community playhouse theater.
In return, the community demonstrates it support of the Center with more than 430 current individual and family memberships. While 30% of our members are residents of White Bear Lake, others come from throughout the east metro area, representing more than 42 cities in Ramsey and Washington counties. Recognizing the value that WBCA brings to the community, the city of White Bear provides free use of classroom and office space in the downtown Armory. In addition to financial contributions, local businesses contribute goods and services for our exhibits and other special events. Increasingly local organizations and school districts are looking to WBCA as the arts resource for the community.
Through art classes, outreach and our many community events we achieve our mission to help build a culturally rich community in the White Bear Area by insuring and maintaining the accessibility of art education and opportunities on a local level. We provide an open and welcoming community, striving to reach any individual or group who wishes to experience the arts through service, participation or creative development.