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Charles City Arts Center Looks to 2023

CHARLES CITY, Iowa - MERRY CHRISTMAS and GREETINGS from the frozen tundra that is Northern Iowa this Holiday weekend. Yikes! Hope you are all safe and warm in houses full of cool art! And we hope you are preparing for the best Christmas ever.

We are ready for the New Year and new art exhibits and hopefully lots of new faces (we like the known faces too... so don't go anywhere!). We are focusing hard on January 2023 as a springboard for the whole year.

Our annual membership drive will begin in January through February. If you haven't renewed your membership, please do! We can't do this without you. We need your smiling faces and to be quite transparent and honest, we need the membership funds badly.

In 2022, we were unable to do a few things that we wanted to do because the funds were just not available. Post-pandemic is exciting and folks are getting out and living again, but we are still feeling a bit of the fallout. That fallout was mostly in the form of funds for wages with Emily and I. We are running very limited schedules. Bare minimum.

Some asks:

- We want to better develop this blog by interviewing artists of all types as a "Get to know" sort of thing. Just could not make that happen in 2022. Missed a really cool opportunity or two.

Solution?: If you are a business in the area and would like to sponsor the blog for 2023, that would be incredible!

We would need a donation of around $600 for 6 blog posts of that nature in 2023. (Monthly update blog aside)

In return we would mention your business and link to your website in the artists blog posts and mention your business when we share those to social media. We could really do some cool things with that, I do believe.

Thank you for considering that!

Spread the word if it may not apply to you, but you know someone?

Thank you!

- We also would really like to expand our hours.

Mostly, I think we are wanting to stay open later (Until 9 on Wed and Th) and offer more Open Studio hours. Our goal is to get more HS-aged artists involved with the facilities. It is vital that we do a better "reach out" to that age group. The longevity of the arts center and arts council depends on it.

Being open on Tuesday is an idea too...

We are in need of $5,000 to make that happen with possibly adding Tuesday to the schedule of open hours.

It is imperative for us to be open more in order to better fulfill the mission that the Arts Council and Arts Center is tasked with.

"To encourage and advance the understanding and appreciation of the arts and to help create an environment in which the arts and artists may flourish."

We are actively pursuing "Capacity grants" and funds of that nature to payroll those extra hours. Not having the best of luck.

An incredible membership drive of people giving more than the required amount would put us on track to see that happen and help us recover.

We are also going to focus hard on fundraising events.

Global Café and our Monster Bash were A+. We just want to make them A+++ for 2023.

Long story short, we have genuine needs.

We have goals and ideas, but they all cost money as wages etc. to help navigate them.

I desperately want the "glory days" of the Arts Center to be right now! In 2023.

Tough ask. But, we can do it!

Thank you so so much to all who have helped already! We sincerely love you back.



We are going to kick off 2023 in a big and fun way with our Annual Meeting on Thursday January 19th! Super excited about this one!

It will be held at The Pub On The Cedar. Time TBD - keep your eyes peeled here and on social media for specifics.

Drinks and pizza will be served. All members are invited!

Each person gets 1 free drink and as much pizza as they can eat. I fully expect to eat so many slices that the Arts Council will ask me to leave. I kid... maybe...

Affiliates and Arts Council members will give their yearly reports.

Following the annual meeting our monthly meeting for January will take place.

We hope to see you there!


Our next exhibit will be in February as we welcome a collection of art from the Waterloo Center of the Arts.

February is Black History Month, so the entire exhibit will consist of super cool work done solely by Black artists.

We are excited to share these cool works from a voice we just don't hear enough of in our small town Arts Center. It will be super cool!

Opening reception for that exhibit will likely be on Friday, February 3rd, from 5-7PM.

Further out...

March exhibit: Deborah Dvorak brings awesome Prisma pencil drawings

April exhibit: Tonja Ihlenfeldt will bring her cool paintings.


We have a couple classes coming up soon in January. Both of these will be taught by Meredith Hamm.

We are excited about these classes. Offering this sort of thing is our mission.

Hope to see some awesome kids at one or both of these!


On November 4th of this year, I put the word out on the street (Instagram and Facebook) that a great way to help support the Arts Center could be by donating a new Shop Vac. Our then current shop vac was a professional patience tester. The wheels went 3 different directions at once and the hose would fall off, spilling all the stuff you thought was being vacuumed, on to the floor. I would then say, "Gosh!"

I offered to name the new shop vac after whoever bought it.

Well, someone answered the call!

We now use "Kylie Ryan" to clean up our classrooms and pottery room. Its a powerful beast that rolls in 1 direction at a time. I actually almost sucked up our rugs on numerous times the first time I used it. THE POWER!!

Many thanks to Kimberly Dunn of Dunn Realtors in Rockford for the donation on behalf of her clients Kylie and Ryan.



We hope you all have a great Holiday season and we look forward to seeing you at the Annual Meeting on the 19th.

We are open through December, but closed in January.

Be safe and keep making art, buying art, sharing photos of art, sharing posts about art, talking about art with friends... Be Arty!


With love and respect,

- Karl (major art nerd)

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