The Christina Cultural Arts Center unveiled its new and improved Innovation Center Wednesday, which leaders call a major milestone for the group.
“We envision that Christina becomes the one of the primary technology hubs in the city,” said James Ray Rhodes, executive director of the Christina Cultural Arts Center, “for students to collaborate globally, nationally, internationally, with technology – not just computers, but how we use technologies to bridge the technology gap.”
The Innovation Center is open to all members of the public, and Rhodes hopes it brings together people from all over the city of Wilmington and beyond.
Spreading about 500-square-feet, the center features nine computer stations, a 3D printer, a smart board and a regular desktop printer.
Mike Clark Legacy Foundation funded the room’s equipment and upgrades, which cost about $125,000.
“In the Black and Brown communities, there’s this technology gap, and this is a way we reduce that gap by providing access to more families, at no cost,” Rhodes said.
The center is located at 705 North Market Street in Wilmington.
The idea for it originally came more than five years ago to expand the Cultural Arts Center’s computer center, but the pandemic caused delays, and in fall 2022, the center hired an architect and found a few contractors to get the project going.
Previously, the computer center just had four computers.
The nine in there now are a mix of Macs and PCs.
Students will have access to AutoCAD and Archicad where they can design projects, buildings and houses in 3D.
There’s also a tutor hub after school hours, and people can also come to learn the different applications in the Microsoft Suite, like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Outlook and more.
“You just come in and sign up, put your name on a schedule – you want to do research or want to do a job search, it’s there,” Rhodes said. “Oftentimes families don’t have access to this technology, whether it be through internet access, or to have the tool like a computer or desktop.”
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
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