Paradise Art Center struggling to remain open

Between the Camp Fire and now the coronavirus pandemic, a local art center has been struggling to stay open. Action News Now reporter Kristian Lopez shares how people are coming together to help the center open back up.

Posted: Nov 11, 2020 5:11 PM
Updated: Nov 12, 2020 1:05 PM

PARADISE, Calif. – Between the Camp Fire and the coronavirus pandemic, a local art center has been struggling to stay open. Action News Now reporter Kristian Lopez shares how people are coming together to help the center open back up.

The Paradise Art Center which has been open for 50 years - has been closed for 20 out of the last 24 months. They told Action News Now they have only been able to get by thanks to help from the community.

“It was fun to come, when the art classes started, I came up here and did clay,” shared Camp Fire survivor, Angello Austin.

Angello Austin survived the Camp Fire. He said he misses having a place to do his art.

“It’s been really difficult...our members are hurting because many don't' have a place to paint because they lost everything, their art, home, studios, there’s the emotional part. You lack that emotional support, being there for each other,” said Kathleen Dysert, President of the Art Center Board.

Dysert says despite the difficult times - the community support has helped them get by. Local artists like Shane Grammer have stepped up.

RELATED: Healing through Art, survivors reflect on second Camp Fire anniversary

“We are receiving money from his mural stuff; he has really been a lifeline for us," said Dysert. "Paradise is a community of talented, compassionate, caring artists, we are helping each other survive, and we are working together. As a community we are coming together, the arts are definitely alive in Paradise."

The owner of Nic’s restaurant in Paradise has also allowed the art center to use a wall to sell their art. 

An Art Center Board member said they are hoping to reopen by December.

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