2013-12-19 / Letters to the Editor

Art association is not guilty for ruining stage

This letter has two parts. As an atlarge member of the Conanicut Island Art Association, I would first like to thank everyone involved in making our craft fair such a success. Attendees commented on the high quality of goods, and crafters said the sales were the best in five years.

My co-chair on the event, Shirley Bell, and our president, Gail Bolger, were tireless in their efforts to make it another beautiful fair despite all obstacles.

However, I feel there needs to be a public clarification regarding the meeting notes on the front page of the Dec. 5 issue of the Jamestown Press (“Tuition agreement reached between school committees”). The art association, contrary to the implication, did not damage the Melrose School stage curtain. We have always been a good, clean, respectful guest for 40 years, even as times change and now we pay for many things we never did before.

The head of buildings and maintenance, Lew Kitts, confirmed last year that though we were not the ones who damaged the curtain, nevertheless the rules had changed since it had to be replaced. I wanted to make this clear since many people who attended the fair commented on the beautiful new curtain and said they hadn’t realized we damaged it.

We have complied with all the new rules, whether it means spaces that are no longer available, such as the hallway, due to fire laws, or new fees for building usage. We have protested and tried to lower these fees because they cut into the money we are able to give back in the form of aid to young artists, the association’s main function. We hope that everybody in town knows that between the Town Hall exhibits, the library gallery, the summer art show and the holiday craft fair, we have given $7,000 this year in scholarships to the very kids whose school, or former school, we are using.

I point this out because we want the town to know we are not trying to take advantage of it in any way. We do not damage public property without answering for it, or bend the rules to our will, or make a profit. We are simply trying to be a fruitful community organization whose main purpose is to give back to that community.

Again, I thank all those who helped make this year’s fair a success, including the very helpful and courteous custodial staff at Melrose School, especially Tim Vietri; the CIAA publicity manager, Patrick Bolger; the Jamestown Press; and especially our customers, both new and the ones who faithfully attend our fair ever since its inception in 1972.

We are looking forward to welcoming everyone, old friends and new, to next year’s fair at Lawn School, where the fair first started.

Alexandra Kent
Walcott Avenue

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