October Letter from the Board

By October 18, 2018 Uncategorized

The weather is cooling off, but ArtsAltoona is heating up!

Greetings friends of ArtsAltoona! We’ve had a very busy time since our last newsletter update!

We expanded our ArtsAltoona/Altoona Renaissance Team (ART) Board of Directors membership to 20 members currently and held our initial Board Orientation on September 25th. Our second meeting was this week and we met in committees during part of the meeting. Each group had vigorous discussions which they reported out. Both the Building Committee and the Finance Committee went on a field trip to the Kress Building!

The Development Committee is focused primarily on researching grants and major gift/sponsorship opportunities for the Studio Arts Center and our After School Arts Program (ASAP).

Marketing is working on a direct mailing for a buy a brick campaign for “Imagination Way” in front of our building. Focus on how to make our community calendar more complete and more widely used is also a priority for this committee.

The Finance Committee reviewed a grant application and project budget for a Home Depot opportunity. They are also working on an annual operating budget for the organization.

The Building Committee looked at and reported on the clean out of “stuff” left behind when the former tenants had to evacuate in a short period of time. Also architect Judy Coutts has been giving us progress reports and a brief update was shared with the board.

The Education Committee is working on sign up/ consent forms to use for ASAP enrollment. They are identifying local artists to approach about assisting in the program. They are also identifying possible volunteers to help from a list of Penn State Altoona students.

The Board Governance Committee is going to develop a board member matrix to identify current representation and identify possible gaps for targeting recruitment of future potential members. A thorough review of the Bylaws will be done by the committee and recommendations for amendments will be made.

In addition to all of the work being done by the board, members of the Leadership Team have been busy!

Ken Decker and I attended the formal appeal hearing for the real estate tax assessment of the Kress Building. Thanks to Allen Thompson with Howard Hanna Real Estate for volunteering to attend with us. We will get written notice of the result in four to six weeks.

George Sackandy and I participated in a meeting at the old Wright School that is now to be The Wright Place for Kids. We are among a group of organizations who are interested in collaboration with others in the building. We are working towards making this a site for ASAP and we will be following up with Pastor Peter Joudry, Executive Director of the Nehemiah Project to move forward on this.

We (George and I) also had a great meeting with the new Executive Director of the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, Vanessa Houser (be sure to read Tony DeGol’s article about her) and Jessica Campbell, their Education Coordinator. Joining us for this meeting were Dr Charles Prijatelj, Superintendent of the Altoona Area School District (and Altoona Renaissance Team ART board member), Pastor Peter Joudry, and Annie Bickel our board Education Committee Chair. SAMA has funding that they are willing to use for an “Artist in Residence” for our ASAP at Wright. We discussed artists available, scheduling and possible programming.

Unfortunately the ASAP that we were planning to begin today, October 18th, at the Altoona Area Public Library, has had to be postponed until after the first of the year due to some issues in the life of our volunteer teacher. We will continue to develop the program and recruit students in the interim.

Thanks to Gwen Fisher, our amazing Program Director, for completing and submitting the Home Depot grant application for support of the building project. Thanks also our summer intern, Courtney Noal, who identified the grant source through her research and wrote the early drafts of the application. I love the collaboration of this group!

I also love the collaboration we currently have with a great group of four Sheetz Fellows who are working with us on our Social Media content with the goal of expanding our reach. Check out Rob Z’s Facebook page for the Freebie Friday the Fellows put together to learn more. Thanks to Kim Aboud for joining them for this event! And thanks to all who contributed to the giveaway package!

Thanks also to our Visionary Leader George Sackandy for reaching out to Doug Herendeen at WRTA radio about collaboration with ArtsAltoona on his show. Thanks to Doug for agreeing and a big thanks to Rebecca Strzelec, Professor of Visual Arts at Penn State Altoona and ART board member for being the inaugural interview! The podcast can be found on the 11th Hour show Facebook page.

There is even more, but you probably stopped reading at least six paragraphs ago and I am exhausted thinking about it all!

If you are still with me, be sure to read Tony DeGol’s article on the Blair Concert Chorale 30th Anniversary concert coming up this Saturday, October 20th.

Be sure to follow our Facebook page and check out our website www.artsaltoona.org calendar page for much of what is happening in the area!

Until next time!