Welcome ToCain Center for the Arts

the Lake Norman region’s new home for inspiration, creativity, and community.

OurHistory

In 2013, the Town of Cornelius began to recognize the need for an arts and cultural venue to revitalize and enrich the community through the arts and all the benefits of arts education. As a direct result, the town voted to allocate $4 million out of a $20 Million municipal bond to create an arts district and in 2017 invested additional support by purchasing the 1.85 acres where Cain Center for the Arts will be built. Through a four-year strategic planning process, conducted by an investigative committee appointed by the Town of Cornelius, a non-profit organization was created to anchor the public-private partnership between the Center and the Town of Cornelius.

Executive Director Justin Dionne was hired in 2017 and in the fall of 2018, the board and leadership launched the quiet phase of a $25 million campaign. A transformational gift from local philanthropists Ericka and Bill Cain led to the center’s permanent name: Cain Center for the Arts.

OurTeam

staff

justin
dionne

executive
director

Justin Dionne is now in his second year as Executive Director of Cain Center for the Arts. Originally from Salisbury, NC, Justin attended Catawba College for Undergraduate studies and Florida State University for Graduate School. He has spent over 10 years in the arts industry with 8 of them in the nonprofit sector. While in Salisbury he helped to build the Norvell Theater and then went on to spearhead efforts to renovate a 1920’s warehouse into a performing arts center which became Lee Street Theater. Along with serving communities, Justin is a passionate about his family, bourbon, travel, the Carolina Panthers, and the Florida State Seminoles. Justin and his family reside in Cornelius.

allison
elrod

development
associate

Allison Elrod is Development Associate for Cain Center for the Arts. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Marketing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her expertise includes brand management, copywriting, event planning and promotion, public relations, and fundraising. A poet and essayist, her work has appeared in journals and anthologies that include Cave Wall, Kakalak, Anglican Theological Review, and Pembroke Magazine. Allison lives with her husband in Davidson.

anita
overcash

Administrative
& Marketing
Assistant

Anita Overcash joined Cain Center for the Arts in 2017 as Administrative & Marketing Assistant. Originally from Cornelius, NC, she is thrilled that a new arts center is coming to the Lake Norman region. Anita is a graduate of University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and worked for almost a decade at alt weekly Creative Loafing Charlotte where she primarily covered arts & entertainment. In her free time, she loves to write, travel, go to concerts, theater, and gallery shows, and spend time with her family. Anita and her husband live in Huntersville.

Board of Directors

Greg Wessling

president

The Lake Norman Company

Pat Bechdol

vice president

Deloitte Consulting (retired)

Troy Stafford

treasurer

Devore, Acton & Stafford, P.A.

Carroll Gray

secretary

Carroll Gray & Associates

Denis Bilodeau

Commissioner – Town of Cornelius

Steve Brumm

Brumm Properties

Cynthia Bush

UNC Charlotte Faculty Member

Jim Duke

Federal Executive (retired)

Kate Gaither

Newport Properties

Ginger Griffin

Ginger Griffin Marketing & Design

Donna Johnson

Community Volunteer

Caroline Mullan

Community Volunteer

Paul Newton

Newton Construction Services

Doug Singleton

Charlotte Ballet

Janice Travis

IBM Global Services Consulting (retired)

Woody Washam

Mayor – Town of Cornelius

Our project began as an idea in 2013, and continues to gain momentum.