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"A place to make community" in Port Charlotte: the future of the Cultural Center

The Cultural Center on Aaron Street has been closed since 2021.
Posted at 9:33 PM, Mar 14, 2024

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — “I took my children here, my mother, my grandchildren,” a resident said in a survey. “This is a place to make community.”

They are talking about the Cultural Center of Charlotte County.

A staple of the community since the 1960’s, the Cultural Center hosted events like concerts, classes, housed a thrift shop and more. It was shut down in late 2021 after the non-profit that ran the center ended its lease and the building was damaged from Hurricane Ian.

On Tuesday, March 12, County Commissioners heard the results of a survey with nearly 3000 responses saying the cultural center should be rebuilt in its same location on Aaron Street in Port Charlotte.

“Small little social groups were formed here,” said one person who responded to the survey. “People were welcomed. People were encouraged to try new things. It was a "comfortable" place to visit. I will personally support reopening this center in any way I can”

After hearing from a consultant regarding the damage the building sustained during Hurricane Ian, commissioners agreed the building needed to be demolished and rebuilt if it were to reopen.

Commissioners voted to discuss the funding for demolition and construction of a new Cultural Center at the next regular meeting on March 26.