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Locals know YorkArts as the arts-based nonprofit learning center that has provided programming to the York community for the last 25 years.

But now, the organization will operate under a new name: Creative York.

A couple dozen gathered outside the arts center at 10 N. Beaver St. Thursday afternoon as the board made the announcement.

"This new name reflects our strengthened focus on teaching creativity through the arts," board president Donna Sylvester said. "We are proud to work toward a mission of nurturing imagination, creativity and innovation in our community. Our (new) vision is that everyone has the tools and confidence to discover and express their unlimited imagination, innate creativity and potential innovation to meet the 21st century needs of our thriving community."

This new vision means that Creative York will have a stronger focus on education, director of marketing and development Laura Abbott said. The organization will not only emphasize technique in its educational programming, but also the creative process so participants learn skills that can be applied to both art and life.

"It's not about walking away with an art product," she said, "but other skills that create confidence."

New programming will include special workshops and educational opportunities connected to the gallery exhibits, Sylvester said. Several of YorkArts' key programs, including Art in the Parks and its program for first-time juvenile offenders, will remain.

"We'll still continue our commitment to serving the community with free programs in addition to the classes here that we've always done," Abbott said.

More specific programming will be announced in early 2016 when Creative York plans to reopen after several months of renovations.

Renovations began in August and will continue through the year to reconfigure the space, add a new ceramics studio with more wheels and energy-efficient kilns, update the gallery with energy-efficient lights and add a classroom and projects space, Abbott said.

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