New council offers space, education for art lovers

Published 6:50 pm Wednesday, March 29, 2017

BELHAVEN — Kaye Lee Brady saw a void in the Belhaven community, and last April, she decided to do something about it.

Brady, who moved from Utah to Belhaven about two years ago, said she missed having an arts community. The closest established group was 30 miles away at the Turnage Theatre in Washington. It wasn’t long before that itch for a community turned into the Belhaven Arts Council.

“I started one and mostly for the reason of education. We really want to stress education,” Brady said.

In October, Brady also helped start the nonprofit Kaye Lee’s Corner Foundation, named after her business on Pamlico Street. The Foundation is a way to fund the Belhaven Arts Council, as well as the Belhaven Senior Club, she said.

Since its inception, the arts council has become involved in a variety of projects, including poetry contests with the elementary schools, an art logo contest with the high schools, the Festival of Trees event in December and “Ride the Belhaven Express” cutout train decorations for residents.

“We are about 25 strong now. I haven’t really seen a lot of challenges. It’s a lot of fun. It’s one of the most enthusiastic groups I’ve worked with,” Brady said. “We’re continuing to grow. We just had the exhibit at the Turnage, and that also ends Friday. We had great turnout there.”

Brady said the arts council meets once a month, and for the meetings, special guests are invited to showcase their particular art form. Previous guests include writer Tom Phillips, Belhaven Finance Director Kelly Brady, and coming up on April 17, Mike Lane, who specializes in Asian art.

“We’re trying to help promote education and the arts,” Brady said. “We welcome anyone to come and join us and check it out.”

In less than a year’s time, the Belhaven Arts Council has filled that void for local art lovers, and according to Brady, there are even bigger plans to come.

“We need something in Belhaven to liven it up,” Brady laughed. “We have a blast, whatever we’re doing.”

For more information about the Belhaven Arts Council, contact Kaye Lee Brady at 801-259-7446 or