Emmaus Creative Arts & Innovation Center rendering

A rendering of the proposed Emmaus Creative Arts & Innovation Center by MKSD Architects.

EMMAUS, Pa. – Advocates of a proposed Emmaus Creative Arts & Innovation Center promised that if and when it was established, it would stimulate and grow the community.

The proposed facility, which was debuted to the public during the legislative body's meeting, will be located on South 10th Street, directly across from Phoebe Ministries' new senior community, known as Chestnut Ridge at Rodale.

The proposed center will provide "cross generational, traditional and emerging arts education, support the business aspect of the arts, and offer hand-on experience to community members," according to a news release issued Monday night by the non-profit group organized for the project.

The executive team behind the project includes James Baker, a local investment adviser.

"It was our goal to have the visual, performing and culinary arts all under one roof," Baker told the Emmaus Borough Council during its Monday night meeting.

The ECAIC team has assembled more than 40 interested stakeholders and started the project's first phase. They are partnering with Phoebe Ministries, who "made available the use of a 35,000-square-foot vacant warehouse."

Tentative plans for the proposed facility include spaces for arts instruction and pop up gallery space. Further, the building would also have rehearsal, instruction and collaboration space for performing artists such as musicians and dancers. The culinary arts aspect will feature the shared use of a commercial kitchen. The proposed center also touted films, discussions, lectures and performances they plan to have or show.

The committee has already launched a capital campaign to raise money for the building's renovation.

"I am excited to see this," Borough Manager Shane Pepe said.