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Happy New Year

2020 was a strange and challenging year for many of us. Here at your Arts Center we have had to do some serious problem solving, evolving, and sometimes just plain old improvising. We are grateful for all of our fabulous members, dedicated volunteers, great board members, patrons and friends. In this end of year post I want to focus on a review of the year, remembrances of those we have lost, and our resolutions for the new year.

The year that was

The Center hosted some awesome shows this past year. A few of them even happened in the the times B.C. (Before Covid). We had glorious openings for two of my personal favorites, Lori Biwer Stewart and Karl Haglund. Little did we know that these would be the last times we would be able to safely gather for art, wine, cheese, beer and fellowship. In May we had to scramble to cover the walls when our scheduled artist was is lockdown. Were we not going to have a show? No way! Emily and I dug into our own collections and validated our art purchases and collected pieces from over the years. Good thing we like to buy art.

That month we also started our continuing live video openings. It was a little bit rough at first. Oh, who am I kidding it's still an evolving thing. From that month on we used our technology to slowly grow our online presence. All of the other exhibits are available on our face book page or here on the blog.

Thanks to our featured artists who helped us with the live shows!

  • Craig Kienast

  • Abbie Harting

  • Victor Pedelty

  • Helen Hunter

  • Anastasia Chloe

  • Traci Utley

  • Lydia Curtis

We had an interesting online only Empty Bowls event as well as an all online

Art-A-Fest. Our Holiday Art Market was a lot smaller this year but it was fun. We added gift wrapping to the services we offer and will probably continue that from now on. We offered after school and Summer classes with our wonder-loving instructor Merideth Hamm. Through it all I have to give a huge shout out to all of the people who donated time, money and Ideas this year as well as a remembrance of those we have lost.

Thanks and In Memoria

Thanks go out to all of our volunteers! We couldn't do as much as we do without your help. Special thanks to Noah Orthel, who has become a fixture at the Center, for always being ready to lend a clay smeared hand whenever asked.

Thank you to our board! It's not always easy crewing this funky ship and your time and Ideas are definitely appreciated. I am personally grateful to them for allowing me to have this incredible job. Honestly it is a dream. I'll have more to say about the board in the next post but I want to say a special thanks to our President Linda Wolff. Her leadership and partnership have been invaluable.

Thank you members and donors! This has been an unprecedented year in at least most of our lifetimes. Things have been hard for many and devastating for some. Your financial and emotional support keeps us rolling and the lights of this old library on. If you, dear reader, are not a member please consider joining us, or giving a gift membership to someone you think would enjoy it. We cant do this without you! And to those who have donated more than their share we are humbled and extremely grateful for your generosity.

Finally in the thank you section, I would like to give a personal thanks to all of the directors who have helped me, taught me and supported me in all of my time as a volunteer, handy man, and now assistant. Thank you Nicole, Tracey, Tori, Jackie and Emily. I'm a better man for having known you.

Finally we come to the In Memoria. I don't know how many members in total we have lost this year. I will try to make a better list when I can. The legacy of those who have supported the Charles City Arts Council and The Arts Center is enduring and appreciated in all we do today. In particular I would like to mention Norma Britbach (May 8, 1927-December 4, 2020). Norma was a founding member of the Charles City Arts Council, one of the first in the state, in 1961. She helped start us and she never stopped loving local arts. Her appearance at arts events will be missed but her presence will always be felt. To Norma and to all of the rest that we have lost thank you!


In the coming year We have many hopes and plans at your Arts Center. We hope to return to a bit of "normalcy", perhaps even having more events with our members and friends in attendance. We plan on continuing to bring the arts to you in bigger and better ways. These plans include a comprehensive online galleria, more online content and up to date information. We are striving to provide more classes both online and in person, as is safe, and more interactive exhibits. We pledge to uphold our mission" To encourage and advance the understanding and appreciation of the arts and help create an environment in which the arts and artists may flourish."

Happy new year to all! Stay safe and healthy. Be kind to each other. Stay warm and discover your center.

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