Tapp’s Arts Center finds a new home. Fundraiser planned to help with moving costs

A group is hoping to repay a favor that a Columbia art center gave them.

Tapp’s Arts Center has found a new home and Alegria Bellydance is putting on a fundraiser to help with moving costs.

The fundraiser will be Nov. 8 and 9 at Tapp’s and will feature performances by dancers from Alegria Bellydance, as well as bellydancers from Tiny Coven Dance and Niad out of Greenville.

While Tapp’s Arts Center has a new space, the location has yet to be announced as options are continuing to be explored, according to the organization’s director, Caitlin Bright.

“We have been so overwhelmed by the community response since announcing our news,” Bright said. “So many possibilities and inspiring ideas have been presented to the team. Though we have landed in a place we are all really excited about, we’ve chosen to go slow, stay elastic, listen to all proposals, and explore the way our programming can keep opportunities and access activated for the creative community. This next chapter is going to be fantastic.”

Tapp’s Arts Center, founded in 2011 and located on the 1600 block of Main Street, provides studios for artists and is a venue for arts exhibits, music acts and a multitude of performances and events. The group and its space is seen as a cornerstone of the Columbia arts scene and played a part in Main Street’s revitalization.

The arts center, located on the ground level of a former department store turned apartment building, announced in September that it was losing its home, possibly shutting down, and having to try to relocate after it didn’t receive enough funding for the coming year. Members of Columbia’s art community decried Tapp’s potential closing as a blow to the arts.

In 2018, Alegria Bellydance faced a similar dilemma. The organization, which teaches bellydance and puts on events, lost its space off Broad River Road. Tapp’s Arts Center offered them a new home and the group was able to continue without canceling any classes or events.

“They helped us a lot when we lost our space,” Alegria Bellydance founder Maria Palacio said. “When we found out they were closing, we always wanted to help them like they helped us.”

Bright said she plans to announce the art center’s new location soon.

Palacio said the move will allow her group and other artists to “to continue to do what we love to do.”

Tickets for the Tapp’s Arts Center moving fundraiser can be purchased on their website at

David Travis Bland won the South Carolina Press Association’s 2017 Judson Chapman Award for community journalism. As The State’s crime, police and public safety reporter, he strives to inform communities about crimes that affect them and give deeper insight into victims, the accused and law enforcement. He studied history with a focus on the American South at the University of South Carolina.