The Hub, Community Center for the Arts, was created for local artists to show their art and perform. It was designed to leverage the talents of these artists to bring life and business to downtown Vallejo. The Hub’s mission was not so much about what happens inside The Hub, but about using what happens inside to affect positive change on the city outside our walls.
Located at the corner of Georgia and Marin, the center of downtown Vallejo, inspired the name — The Hub. Opened in February 2011, The Hub has become a popular place for over 30 visual and performing artists to show and sell their art, and to entertain. The visual art includes local hand-crafted merchandise, fine art and sculptures. It’s also a place for community members to gather for classes, board games, jigsaw puzzles, music, poetry, and to relax.
Founders Chris and Katie Vardjin, and Sean Murdock recognized the potential in Vallejo’s downtown. These three saw a need for a space where artists could display their art or perform. The Hub became that place, to sit along side the existing art community that includes The Coal Sheds Arts Collective, The McRee Goudeau Gallery, The Empress Theater, and the Barbie Lady
Chris wrote a proposal for The Odd Fellows, San Pablo Lodge, recommending building an arts and community space in the former storefront, leveraging the growing number of artists coming in to Vallejo, and to bring the downtown to life. In addition to a gallery, the proposal suggested, among other things, a stage for music, theater, performing art and poetry – the idea being that, if we always had interesting things going on, people would return to downtown again. This would revitalize the downtown by encouraging businesses to utilize empty storefronts, thus making the downtown safer.
Engaging the press and the community, work began on changing Vallejo’s hopes, image and story. Positive stories in the paper began to appear. Artistic venues such as The Hub, The Artiszen Gallery, and The Integritea Gallery were included in these stories. Under the leadership of Sean Murdock, the new Second Friday Art Walk has become a monthly event in Vallejo.
Today The Hub has become an independent entity as a non-profit organization. It is run by an all-volunteer staff and Board of Directors. Turning an empty shell into an art gallery, craft boutique, and stage for performances has brought you locally hand-crafted art and merchandise, and monthly events. The sofas, coffee, puzzles, and board games invite community members to gather. Come to the Hub, it was created for the community.