West Arundel Creative Arts, WACA for short, was founded August 2013 by Rebecca Kotraba, Pat Browning, and Dan Kavanaugh with the goal to bring arts opportunities to the underserved area that is the west part of Anne Arundel County, including Odenton, Hanover, Crofton, Laurel, and Gambrills. With a founding grant from the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County (ACAAC.org), WACA was born.
In Fall 2013, Jay Winer of AJ Properties gave WACA its first location--a small retail space in Odenton. Over the next three years, WACA moved to three other locations: two given with free rent by Jon Halle of the Halle Company and the third was renting space at an area church. Councilmen Andrew Pruski and Delegate Pam Beidle assisted WACA with attempting to find a county space in western Anne Arundel County for the programs. In November 2016, WACA President Rebecca Kotraba met with the State of Maryland delegates and senator from Anne Arundel County to discuss the need for arts in West County and a more permanent home for WACA. Delegates Pam Beidle, Mark Chang, and Sid Saab, and Speaker of the House Mike Busch spoke with leadership with at the county level, and in December 2016, WACA was presented with a county building at an affordable rental rate in Hanover. In February 2017, WACA began the process of renovating the building into a working Center for the Arts.
My daughter looked forward to each day of camp. In a matter of two weeks, my daughter learned her lines, many songs, and several dances plus got the opportunity to help make the sets and costumes. She learned all parts of a production. Rebecca did an outstanding job. The production was amazing. We can't wait until next year!
Our first session of classes began in the Fall of 2013, and our first production at WACA was in the Fall of 2014, a collaboration with 2nd Star Productions of "Twelve Angry Men." In summer 2015, WACA presented our first independent production the youth musical, "Into the Woods Jr."
As of Fall 2017, WACA has held 13 sessions of classes in visual and performing arts, six shows (Into the Woods Jr, Joy Around the World, Seussical Jr., Babes in Toyland, Lady Pirates of the Caribbean: The Musical, and Miracle on 34th Street--the Musical. WACA has presented free workshops, classes, and performances at the Odenton Library, the O'Malley Senior Center, Odenton Day, Hebron-Harwood Elementary Back Pack Drive, and Crofton on the Green.
WACA has supported area schools, including developing and coordinating an Arts Showcase at Odenton Elementary, sponsoring two plays at Four Seasons Elementary, lending costumes to various local schools, and through our community partnership with the Performing and Visual (PVA) Arts Magnet schools.
Our mission is to provide affordable, accessible, and professional arts programs in a nurturing environment that fosters collaboration, positivity, and community building.
Our vision is to create an arts center that will provide all the tools and space needed for visual, performing, and production arts to exist and thrive for the 150,000+ residents for which we are the only non-profit arts opportunity. WACA wants to become the community hub for the arts for the areas near and around our facility including Hanover, Severn, Odenton, Laurel, Elkridge, Crofton, and Gambrills.