At a Board of Orange County Commissioners meeting on Oct. 15, the Board approved a project to bring an affordable art studio space to the Eno River Mill in Hillsborough. The project brings together a partnership between the Orange County Arts Commission, the Gold Family and Hedgehog Holdings.
According to the release sent out on the Orange County government website, the space attempts to combat two hurdles for artists in Orange County — a dearth of infrastructure and affordable access.
"This will provide space for creators who don't own a home or don't have a home studio who really need an affordable place to create and host shows," stated Penny Rich, chair of the Board of Orange County Commissioners, in the release. "We are really excited to turn this into an arts space."
The plans for the project involve first putting in 13 artist studio spaces at the Eno River Mill. After that, additional stages of the project will bring more financially accessible spaces for local artists, as well as different programs.
According to the release, Orange County hopes to make the Eno River Mill both a popular stop for local artists as well as an "economic asset" for Hillsborough.
"The arts commission has been working to find more space for the arts throughout the county, which has proven difficult for a number of reasons," stated Orange County Arts Commission Director Katie Murray in the release. "We're so fortunate to have found a developer and owner who share our vision for what the mill can be. We plan to start small with artist studios and use the momentum to activate other vacant mill space through the arts. This project will be a game-changer for the community arts scene, and we're so excited to get started."