Skip to main content
  • Share

Arts & Entertainment District

You may have heard some buzz about the creation of an Arts & Entertainment District Downtown.  Great news!  It’s not just a rumor.  It really is happening!

For more than a year, a District Advisory Committee led by the Arts Council has been laying the groundwork for a new nonprofit organization that will manage the Arts & Entertainment (A&E) District, to include working on funding, staff organization/recruitment, governance, economic development promotion.

With major projects in the planning for the Downtown area, successful management of an A&E District is more important than ever. As a result of two and half years of efforts involving hundreds of community volunteers, Cool Spring Downtown District, Inc., was born. As a newly formed nonprofit, the transition Board initiated recruitment for the President/CEO of the organization and released an RFQ to hire a designer to create the logo for the district – the first step in a comprehensive branding plan. Mark Regensburger was recently hired to lead the organziation. Click here to learn more.

These exciting first steps are just the tip of the iceberg of the growth to come as the organization moves forward to work with the City and County in making Fayetteville a regional destination. The offices of Cool Spring Downtown District are located at 222 Hay St, Fayetteville, NC 28301. You may contact them at info@coolspringfay.org, or 910-223-1089.

What is The District?
The district covers approximately 30 blocks in the core of the City.

The Vision for The District (From the Arts & Entertainment District Report): The Fayetteville Arts and Entertainment District, emanating from the Central Core of the city, will be the vibrant center of artistic, cultural, civic and commercial activity; a place where people live, work, frequently visit and loyally patronize; a robust generator of economic prosperity for all Cumberland County residents.

Arts & Entertainment Districts are proven to help:

  • Revitalize downtown
  • Extend the daily activity cycle in downtown
  • Make the city more attractive
  • Create a “cool” place for young people
  • Provide arts activities for locals residents
  • Establish tourist destinations
  • Provide artist housing and employment
  • Encourage business and employment development
  • Strengthen local arts and cultural organizations
  • Develop new cultural facilities
  • Preserve/reuse historic buildings
  • Enhance local property values
  • Attract new residents to the city

The Arts Council, at the behest of City Council and County Commissioners, contracted in 2015 with Webb Management to conduct a feasibility study for a Cultural Arts Center. A new Downtown performing arts center was one of the top three desires and recommendations that came out of the City’s updated Downtown Masterplan and public hearing process.

While the development of new facility was not feasible at that time, one of Webb’s recommendations was to create an Arts District which would not only embrace one of the most effective redevelopment tools, but also lay the groundwork for, and guide placement of, new facilities in the future. Local government leaders who participated in the process, recommended that the district be expanded to include entertainment. The Arts Council hired the Cultural Planning Group to work within our community for the development of an Arts & Entertainment District (A&E District).

Over 18 months, four public engagement sessions with hundreds of participants were conducted. The community has indicated that it is ready for growth in the central core of the City and are willing to help shape experiences in it.

Concurrently, with the Downtown Alliance and City of Fayetteville-conducted parallel studies by the by the Urban Land Institute & Main Street Incorporated, embraced and enriched the Arts & Entertainment District work.