Join us as we embark on a journey of a hundred years, commemorating the remarkable legacy of the Arts & Science Center through the heartfelt stories of cherished community advocates.  The SALT Block Foundation proudly presents this journal that encapsulates a century of creativity, innovation, and human connection through captivating narratives highlighting the transformation from its inception as Claremont High School to its present-day glory. The SALT Block Foundation serves as the benevolent landlord for the upkeep of the block and offsets the operational cost for our five resident organizations.  

We look forward to the opportunities that this will open for our community to share their stories with us as well.  Save the date for our upcoming Anniversary Gala on September 14th, 2024.

Interview with Jeff Cline--click the photo for the interview

September's featured SALT Story with community advocate Jeff Cline, focuses on his time at Claremont High School. The fun experiences he had as he played with the marching band and jazz band, as well as his experiences throughout his time in Hickory. Enjoy!

SALT Stories #3

Interview with Don Norwood--click the photo for the interview

November's featured SALT Story interview with Don Norwood looks back on his time as a student at the school, his work after graduation, and his time as a valued member of the SBF board of directors and building and grounds committee.  Don has served in some capacity with the SALT Block for many years.  His guidance and expertise in the building have been invaluable to its upkeep and preservation.  He continues to support the SALT Block Foundation financially through an estate plan and is an advocate of time, talent, and treasure.

Interview with Paul Fogelman and Buck Shuford--Click photo to play video


Our first SALT Story of 2024 features Buck Shuford and Paul Fogelman.  This January  interview focuses on the beginning of the Arts & Science Center of Catawba Valley, the original name to the SALT Block property.  This historical review dives into the process that took place to create our campus from strategic planning, fundraising and more from 1980-1986.

Interview with Tracy Hall and Trish Little-Click photo to play the video

In this interview, number seven in the series,  Tracey Hall, Executive Director of the Catawba Science Center, Trish Little former Assistant Director and Mark Sinclair former Executive Director share their history and experiences at the Science Center and on the SALT Block. They share their passion for the SALT Block noting the uniqueness of the facilities, and the concept of providing a home to Science, Art, and Literature groups in one space. 

SALT Stories #2 in the series.

Interview with Margaret Ann Campbell, Nancy Matheson, and Julia Matheson--
click the photo for the interview

October featured SALT Story led us to a conversation with Nancy Matheson and Margaret Ann Campbell, lifelong friends who attended Claremont High School, and Nancy’s daughter Julia Matheson, who serves on the board of the SALT Block Foundation as communications chair. This delightful story focuses on many aspects of their time in high school, growing up in Hickory, as well as the work of the SALT Block Foundation.

Interview with Don Coleman--Click the photo to play video.

December featured SALT Story with Don Coleman, reflecting on his time at the Claremont Central High School as the choral teacher.  After his teaching career, he worked closely with the community to create the Hickory Choral Society, one of the five resident organizations of the SALT Block.  December is a feature month for the Choral Society with the performance of their celebrated Christmas concert with the new director, Ryan Luhrs.  Mr. Coleman continues to support the SALT Block through his service on the planned giving committee. 

Interview with Charles Young and David Zagaroli--Click photo to view the video.

This interview, number six in the series,  highlights a mix of sentimentality for the past and optimism for the future, showcasing how the former high school evolved into a thriving arts & science center, cultural hub for the community, and the importance of sustaining for the future.  Charles Young shares his experience as a former student at the school and his role in procuring financial support for the renovation. David Zagaroli shares the story of his vision and community involvement that brought the project to fruition.

Click on the photo to view the story.

In this story, a Hickory native, Mickey Shuford shares her experience as a member of the last 4-year class to attend the school.  Fast forward to years later when a group of individuals known as the Founders provided the funding to complete the renovation of the school and complete the transformation to the Arts & Science Center of Catawba County.  Learn how the city block which houses several arts and science organizations along with the Patrick Beaver Memorial Library came to be known as the SALT Block and the creation of the Foundation which sustains it.