Cornelius Arts Center Has a Name

Cornelius Arts Center to be Named After Bill and Ericka Cain

Future arts facility secures naming rights

 SEPTEMBER 17, 2018 – CORNELIUS, NC – The Cornelius Arts Center is proud to announce that they will name their upcoming arts center after local community leaders Bill and Ericka Cain. The renaming comes as a result of the Cain’s generous lead gift of five million dollars to the Center’s comprehensive campaign.

Bill Cain

Bill and Ericka Cain relocated Financial Independence Group, FIG, to Cornelius in 1998.  Dr. Cain serves as Chief Executive Officer while Mrs. Cain serves as Executive Administrator.  The Cain’s are passionate about pursuing opportunities that allow them to help others. In 2017, they were both honored for their community work. Dr. Cain received the Robert T. Cashion Person of the Year Business Award, and Mrs. Cain received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Business Today.


“We are thrilled to be able to be part of the arts center,” says Dr. Cain. He notes that the center will benefit everyone, including adults, children, families, seniors, and members of the business community. “The arts center will improve the aesthetics of the community and it will be the catalyst to bring more improvement to the area. We can’t think of any reason not to support it.”

The Cain’s gift, alongside initial fundraising and public funding from the Town of Cornelius totals $12 million towards the center’s $25 million campaign goal. Cornelius Arts Center Board President, Greg Wessling, believes the Cain’s lead gift will help to build further momentum and excitement for the project during the early phase of the campaign.

Ericka Cain

“We are honored to have Bill and Ericka Cain make this legacy investment to name the facility,” says Wessling. “It not only provides a foundation for the center, but calls all of us to action in following their lead. It tells everyone that this arts center project is a reality.”

The new center will also anchor the revitalization and economic redevelopment of downtown Cornelius. “The Cains leadership for the arts center project is going to provide so many positive effects for Cornelius and the Lake Norman Region,” says Mayor Woody Washam Jr. “It’s going to provide quality education, entertainment and social experiences for all ages. It’s also going to create more opportunities for successful economic development projects for our downtown area.”

The Center will coordinate with the Cains in creation of the new organizational brand, with plans for unveiling in early November.

Justin Dionne, executive director for the Art Center, “We are very excited. In my history of working in Non-profit industries, and being involved in several major fundraising campaigns, you couldn’t ask for a better community partners and investors. The Cain’s genuinely want to make the community better for future generations.
We know this will get some great momentum going, because we are not done. This is fantastic! This shows good leadership, because it is going take everyone in these communities to make this happen. This is continuing the next chapter, being written for the identity of the Town”

The Cornelius residents will contribute $5 million to the project which will be named the “Cain Center for the Arts.”

Members of the Cornelius Arts Center’s Board of Directors and Executive Director with Bill and Ericka Cain (photo: Waldeck)

Above photo:
Members of the Cornelius Arts Center’s Board of Directors and Executive Director with Bill and Ericka Cain
Front row (Left to right): Donna Johnson, Bill Cain, Ericka Cain, Pat Bechdol, Troy Stafford

Back row (Left to right): Paul Newton, Carroll Gray, Greg Wessling, Jim Duke, Justin Dionne
(photo by Brant Waldeck)

Interview requests can be sent to Anita Overcash at
For more information on the Cornelius Arts Center project, visit

MORE ABOUT THE CORNELIUS ARTS CENTER PROJECT: The mission of the Cornelius Arts Center is to provide exceptional visual arts, performing arts, and social experiences in the Lake Norman region.

In 2013 Cornelius residents approved a $4 million bond project for downtown redevelopment projects. After much research and conversation, the need for a community arts center was identified to complement the already thriving arts district in Old Town Cornelius. The Town has purchased 1.85 acres in downtown Cornelius adjacent to the police station to house the future arts center.

The diverse, not-for-profit arts organization will operate a facility that will be a place for creativity, learning, entertainment and enjoyment. The center was established as a 501-c-3 in 2017. It will be a hub of arts and entertainment that will serve the entire Lake Norman and North Mecklenburg community and beyond. The new arts center will also serve as an anchor for the arts district in Old Town Cornelius. It will also be a place to hold community, private or civic events and will serve as a force for creative momentum within the Lake Norman area and beyond.


Read More of OTC’s related coverage:

May 2018 –  Concept Renderings and Model Revealed at Cornelius Art Center Conversation

Oct 2017 – Acclaimed Architect Firms Will Design Cornelius Arts Center

Oct 2016 – With Town Board Support, Arts and Community Center Plans Move Forward


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