PUBLIC FORUMThe first public forum was a great success. The next meeting will be held in the Northwestern Medical Center Conference Center on Thursday, April 12, at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Refreshments will be served.The St. Albans Area Arts and Cultural Center board will host a free public forum to meet Preservation Trust of Vermont Executive Director Paul Bruhn and Vermont Arts Council representative John Zwick, to hear about Art Center progress, and to discuss community needs with the initial Board. The event will be held in the Northwestern Medical Center Conference Center on Thursday, March 15, at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Refreshments will be served.
Mr. Bruhn, Mr. Zwick, and Art Center board member Mike Curtis will discuss art centers in other communities and the steps to establish one locally. They will lead a discussion about community needs for performances, galleries, and other artsy spaces, as well as examine the Mission. There will also be an opportunity to talk about specific community interests, respond to a call for volunteers, and look for suggestions for an Art Center name.
Paul Bruhn has been instrumental in the Creative Economy projects in St. Albans and arranged last year's bus tour of creative centers around the state. He will moderate.
John Zwick is AiSB and Danville Project Manager for the Vermont Arts Council. His most recent project in Franklin County was as Project Manager of the statewide Palettes of Vermont.
Mike Curtis co-chaired the Palettes of Franklin County, Vermont and World's Largest Palette projects and has just finished chairing the successful St. Albans Rotary Home and Recreation Expo.
Volunteers from the All Arts Council, the St Albans Artists' Guild, and St. Albans for the Future, as well as members of the Bishop Street Artists and other interested groups, and other interested community members began planning an Arts and Cultural Center at the Creative Economy forums a year ago.
Assistant City Manager Liz Gamache of St. Albans asked, "Does 'build an arts center' indicate actual construction, or using existing space to create one?" That question sparked a change in thinking as "build" changed to "create an arts center" to leave options more open.
The committee analyzed what functions an Arts and Cultural Center should perform. "The Functional Analysis has let us think outside the building," AAC Chair Dick Harper said. "We focused our attention on what the Arts and Cultural Center should do, rather than how or where arts and culture happens or the things we think an Arts and Cultural Center needs."
A Mission Statement and a community survey grew out of the functions: "Our mission is to establish artistic expression as the focal point of our community. To create and sustain a demand for art and culture, by encouraging and educating artists and the community so that it may enhance and enrich the lives of all."
The initial board of directors includes Creative Economy and SAFF member Mike Curtis, Art Guild president Jay Fleury, AAC Chair Dick Harper, Art Guild director Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard, Ann Levy, Historical Museum director Charles Moore, Sheri Moore, Joan Ostiguy, and Bridget Zurn.
Dick Harper, Chair
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