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About the Carnegie

The historic Carnegie Library opened in 1916, one of more than 1,600 libraries built by Andrew Carnegie across the U.S. It served as the City of Turlock’s library until 1968 and has been used as an arts center since 1979. In November 2005 a fire destroyed everything but its exterior walls. The City of Turlock and the Carnegie Arts Center Foundation soon entered into a partnership to rebuild and expand the facility. Opening in September 2011, the renovated Carnegie Arts Center is now operated entirely by the Foundation, a private, nonprofit corporation. The scorched walls of the original building can be seen from the lobby of the new addition, where they stand as a symbol of community resolve.

As one of only a handful of professional arts centers in California’s Central Valley, the Carnegie Arts Center is more than regional in its perspective, promoting the work of local artists as well as bringing in diverse creative views from throughout the state, nation and world. Exhibitions have included Ansel Adams: California, Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist, Pablo Picasso’s Edition Ceramics, José Guadalupe Posada & the Mexican Penny Press, Childhood Classics: 100 Years of Children’s Book Illustration, and Nature, Tradition & Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics, as well as numerous regional artists of distinction, annual juried competitions, and youth art shows.

With a mission to be the community’s resource for learning and discovering through the arts, the Carnegie's programs also include classes, programs and activities in artistic genres as diverse as dance, music, poetry, theater and more. Working with regional partners, the Carnegie regularly hosts the Turlock Uke Jamz and Sunshine Strummers music groups, Village Dancers of the Valley folk dancing group, Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center Poetry on Sundays program, and LightBox Theatre Company which produces plays for young audiences.

At least 25% of all Carnegie programming is dedicated to children and teens. Scholarships for art classes, Family Friday activities, and a robust field trip program for regional elementary and middle schools provide many free or low-cost opportunities for Central Valley youth to explore creatively through the arts.

Original Carnegie Library

Expansion and Renovation, Carnegie Arts Center, 2012

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