The MATTIE Arts & Visitors Center, is an arts learning center, is dedicated to creating a venue where artists can grow artistically in their craft, communicate creatively with one another, and be inspired by nature.  It officially opened on the first floor of Hyde County's Historic Courthouse on October 13, 2012 when the first art class was held.

MATTIE Arts is the program of The Friends of Hyde County's Historic Courthouse, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization

Our Mission

The Mission of the Friends of Hyde County's Historic 1854 Courthouse is to develop and implement a sound economic strategy for the preservation and utilization of Hyde County's Historic courthouse in order to promote community, cultural, educational, ecological, and economic development. The MATTIE Arts Program was conceived not only to sustain the historic building but also as part of the economic development of Hyde County.  Our vision is that the art center will expand throughout and beyond the village of Swan Quarter with resident art studios and additional teaching studios as other artists relocate temporarily or permanently to teach, learn, and work.


Our 2019 Board of Directors

Bud Clayton, Chairman

Jan Moore, Vice Chairman

Cathy Clayton, Secretary

Jessica Gibbs, Treasurer

Susan Hartman

Tammie Emory

Jessica Bianco

Russ Swindell


In the 18th century, Samuel Swann settled along the Pamlico Sound in an inlet called Swan Bay, giving rise to the village of Swan Quarter which became the county seat in 1836. 

Consisting entirely of volunteers, the historic courthouse was placed on the National Historic Registry in 1979.  The building was vacated in the aftermath of flooding from Hurricane Isabel in 2003.  The "Friends" lease the building from the county government and meet their operating expenses (which include no salaries) through retaining a portion of program revenues generated by MATTIE Arts.  Grants, donations, and fundraisers go toward growth.        

MATTIE Arts & Visitors Center showcases original and unique works of local and area artists with an emphasis on subject matter indigenous to Hyde County, both mainland and Orcacoke Island.


  • October 1, 2012 : Hyde County Commissioners award one year lease to Friends to create arts center.

  • October 1, 2013 : Hyde County Commissioners award new 5 year lease for MATTIE Arts Center.

  • Hyde County Chamber of Commerce : 2013 Tourist Award.

  • NCAC Grassroots Grants: 2011- 2016.

  • October 27, 2013 : Internationally renown sculpture, Jim Gallucci dedicates his metal sculpture consignment "Gateway to the Arts" to the spirit and growth of the center.

  • January 1, 2015 : Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation awards $40,000 grant over 2 years to MATTIE Arts Center.

  • January 1, 2017 : Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation awards $20,000 grant for 1 year to MATTIE Arts Center.