Brookings Arts Council History

Built in 1914, the building served as a Carnegie Library until 1976 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. While retaining its historic charm, the building has also been updated to better serve the public, perhaps most importantly through the 1996 addition of an elevator to provide greater accessibility.

The inaugural meeting of the Brookings Area Arts Council (BAAC) took place on January 30, 1969, and the organization was incorporated in 1975. Not long after, the former Carnegie Library building became available, and the BAAC took responsibility for administering the building as the Community Cultural Center (CCC). The CCC, incorporated in 1979, originally had its own board of directors, but for greater efficiency it merged with the BAAC in 1990 under the name Brookings Community Cultural Center. Two years later, the name was changed to the Brookings Arts Council, as it is known today. The old Carnegie Library continues to provide a unique historic backdrop for the BAC’s modern mission.

2017 saw the building undergo a complete roof to foundation renovation.  This half million dollar renovation updated the building to support central air/heat, updated electrical, ADA compliance and incredible amenities to the gallery and the classroom, while maintaining the historic beauty and relevance.  Thanks to the planning of the City of Brookings, Historic Preservation Committee and a private donor, the historic Carnegie Library (BAC) building now has been brought into the 21st century with forced air and heat, new daylight balanced LED lighting in the gallery and classroom areas, stunning hardwood floors throughout our main public areas, the modification of a bathroom into an ADA handicap accessible family bathroom, a spray/kiln room, and state of the art working artist classroom with pull down electrical outlets at each table, a wet display area and so much more! This incredible renovation of the building will  contribute to the positioning of the venue as a hub for arts and culture in Brookings.