2010-01-07 / Letters to the Editor

Thanks from JAC board

The Jamestown Arts Center is now the proud owner of 18 Valley Street, and is ready to turn the inspiring space into a vibrant arts facility for the whole community.

The bright crisp afternoon of Dec. 21, after the blizzard of ’09, seemed a fitting day to start a new phase of our capital campaign after many months of intensive fund raising, financing and building support for the project that is almost three years in the making.

Board members Kate Petrie, Elizabeth Congdon and Dianne Grippi were present at the closing with seller Bill Munger, who worked tirelessly with Bob Bailey and the rest of the JAC board – including Vivi Valentine, Mary Beth Murphy, Anne Livingston, Jocelyn Donaghue and Executive Director Lisa Randall. Peter Brockmann and John Murphy’s legal expertise was invaluable.

For a fledgling non-profit arts organization in a rough economic time, this endeavor has had remarkable success. The R.I. Foundation generously funded the feasibility study by Seaside Philanthropy necessary to create a sustainable business designed to provide challenging arts experiences for all ages, abilities and disciplines. Numerous islanders donated their services, advice, volunteer hours and financial support so generously that the board of JAC greets 2010’s challenges with immense gratitude, optimism and enthusiasm.

The goal now is to build awareness and friends, seek funding from private foundations and federal agencies, pay off all private loans and work towards transforming the building into the beautiful renovation designed pro-bono by Peter Twombly of Estes/Twombly Architects. We want to open the doors of the Jamestown Arts Center as soon as possible!

JAC is thrilled to announce that a fully fitted ceramics studio has been donated by a Jamestown family and will be the very first to open. Also, the Jamestown-based business Michelle-USA will contribute green, sustainable insulation for the entire building. The arts center invites all island businesses, groups and individuals who would like to volunteer their services and goods – we appreciate all levels of giving so much.

During January through April, the Jamestown Arts Center will offer arts classes at the new Jamestown Gallery on Conanicus Avenue. Morning creative drama and visual arts classes will be held for preschoolers, while adult and after school classes in writing, drawing, crafts and computer graphics will take place in the afternoon and evenings.

JAC’s spring fundraisers will be the third annual open juried show “Collaboration ’10” in March, welcoming one free submission for all Conanicut Island Art Association members, and a juried show in April. Both shows will be exhibited at the Jamestown Gallery.

The Jamestown Arts Center is looking forward to an exciting 2010 and the chance to really put the “fun” in fundraising. There will be many wonderful events for the whole community to enjoy the arts and to help build a community asset for generations to come.

Information about these events, shows, weekly classes and workshops will be scheduled and advertised on our website at www. jamestownartcenter.org. Call Kate Petrie, president, for additional information at 423-9684.
Kate Petrie,
Elizabeth Congdon,
Anne Livingston
Jocelyn Donaghue
Dianne Grippi
Vivi Valentine
Mary Beth Murphy

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