The time has come to prepare for the holidays and the inevitable end of year reflections that are a hallmark of this season. We count our blessings, we brighten the hearts of our loved ones, and we make preparations and set goals for the coming year.
Here at the Arts Center, we also want to share our gratitude with you, our members and supporters. We appreciate your patronage and your engagement. Our work is to expand arts access, and we cannot do that without a willing and enthusiastically supportive membership. YOU are that base that keeps us on track and thriving. So thank you. Thank you for engaging with our programming, our special events, and our fundraisers.
We also know that 2020 has looked very different than years’ past for many of you, and for the organization as well. We have seen our ability to fundraise and offer in person programming be significantly hampered by the pandemic. However, we are in the business of problem solving, and what is at first a challenge can, with hard work and creative thinking, become an opportunity to grow and adapt, ultimately reaching new audiences and expanding the arts access that is the crux of our mission.
Some highlights of that shift would be the Grab Bag program that we ran from March through May. On average we gave away over one hundred free art supply bags each weekend! We were able to do this with support from USD 352, in leu of our in-class program, Art in the Classroom. Over the summer, we again pivoted and expanded the Summer Arts Institute. With a grant from the Sherman County Community Foundation, we purchased equipment and hired a videographer. We held our program outdoors in Chambers Park, and produced instructional videos and grab bags for those who chose to maintain distance.
These efforts also extended to our most popular event, the annual Art Walk With some slight adjustments, we were able to celebrate and elevate some fantastic classical musicians, Midic Winds, offer local artisans the opportunity to sell their wares and continue the sidewalk chalk contest tradition.
The pivots and adjustments will continue into the future, and we are doing all we can to stay prepared, and useful. But we do not do this work in a vacuum, and creative work is not free. As we look to 2021, we see significant financial potholes in the road to stability and growth. We implore you, our most adamant supporters, to consider increasing your annual or monthly gift. Donations stay local, and by supporting the Arts Center, you are supporting mural and beautification projects, Arts in the Classroom, the Art Walk, Open Studio, and many more outreach programs. Help us help the community by donating online Click Here or getting in touch with us. Automated monthly giving is also available, and is an incredibly easy way to maximize your giving potential.
Abby Killingsworth, Executive Director