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PROGRESS UPDATE…


Hello ARTFUL supporters!

Sorry it’s been so long since we posted a progress update, but I assure you that we have been busy behind the scenes. We have been exploring a number of options in regard to buildings, developing a series of classes, organizing our fundraising plan, among other things!

Let’s start with where we are in our search for a building to house ARTFUL. We have toured a few sites, all of which have their own pros and cons. We know that each site brings its own characteristics to our project and we will have to adapt accordingly. But each of them also fits our main objectives – a welcoming space that will allow us to rent affordable studio spaces to local artists, space in which we can host classes and events for the community at large, and all located in spaces/areas where we can take advantage of the support of area non-profits and businesses, as well as lend our support to them. We encourage you to provide us with your thoughts and feedback regarding any of these spaces.

We continue to have open discussions with the owners of the Medusa building. Earlier last month Shannon, Dave and our architect, John Williams, sat down with the owners to discuss the potential of a lease. We all have the love affair going on with this spot, but it is in dire need of some pretty major repairs and for it to work we will need to come to a lease agreement that makes sense in terms of length and cost. We are currently running some numbers back and forth and look forward to further exploring the possibility of this site. But we also feel we need to explore other options available within our community.

We recently found out that Grace Lutheran has sold to a commercial venture. From what we hear, this is great news but I do not know the details. So we have had to scratch that from our list of potential sites. But we are very enthusiastic about a space we toured at the old Coventry Elementary School.

Coventry School Building
This space has several advantages – affordability being a huge plus. Utilities, maintenance, internet, and taxes are included in our rent price which, so far, is unique to this space. John Williams accompanied us on our third walk-through and encouraged us to explore this possibility further. We feel the space is large enough for us to meet our objectives and could be a perfect space for us to start out in and grow over the next several years. While there is nothing set in stone, we are also aware of the CHUH school districts potential plans over the next number of years regarding their school buildings, and see that there is at least some potential for us to grow into a larger space over time. The space already includes several sinks and built in storage units (almost like dressers with wide flat drawers – perfect for art supplies), and wonderfully high ceilings. We are moving forward with discussions regarding rent/lease details and will keep you posted.

Coventry School Space Collage A

The Old Rite Aid Building
The other space that we toured was the old Rite Aid building by Zagara’s on Lee Rd. This was also a great space – very raw and utilitarian, larger than the Coventry School space, but smaller than Medusa. We truly feel that we could adapt this building to fit our needs, as well. We like the location and the ample parking – both big plusses. The con to this one is the price. No utilities, taxes or maintenance are included in the lease price. But we are keeping this on our list of potential sites.

Old Rite Aid Collage A

Center-Mayfield Building
Another site that we have been encouraged to take a look at is the Center-Mayfield building (the old movie theater). We have yet to tour this site and we are aware that is currently under contract for sale. But we hope to still be able to get in to see it.

If anyone has any other leads on spaces in our area that may be worth exploring, please let us know. Another one we’d love to find out more about is 2150 Lee Rd. (the old Abrash store). If anyone knows if this space is available, please let us know. We are also wondering if the old Lemon Grass building is moving forward as a new restaurant, or what the status is with that space? We are going to have our Realtor, Judy Jeavons, look into these spaces further, but if anyone has any direct knowledge, please feel free to let us know.

OK – on to other business…

Classes!! Several members of our team are working on developing some great classes for you to take advantage of. As we move forward with this, we will provide you with more details, but the idea is to create art classes which will be hosted at local businesses and venues. Each class will later be featured in beautiful instruction book we will create and use to help raise funds for ARTFUL. We will also be featuring some videos on our website.

We are also very excited about a couple new projects we will be featuring on our blog. The first is a series we are calling “meaningFUL People”. This will be a video spotlight where the youth in our community interview their art teachers, or someone who influences their creativity. We want the world to know that our arts are important to the overall education and development of our youth, and hope that these videos will inspire and entertain you. If you have a child who would be interested in conducting an interview, or know of an art educator who deserves to be features, please let us know.

meaningFUL people MAIN IMG 2016    David King ARTworks March 2016

The other feature we are starting is appropriately named “ARTworks”. This is a photo feature of someone who has chosen to create art as a regular part of their lives at work in their “studio”. We hope this will help introduce our community to the wealth of talented people we are surrounded by. Again, if you are an artist/creator, or know of a deserving person who wouldn’t mind being featured in “ARTworks”, then please email us.

And lastly… March marks our 1 year anniversary since we formally organized ARTFUL, so it’s time to celebrate! We’re looking into hosting a 1 Year Anniversary Happy Hour at Colony in a couple of weeks. We’d like this to be an opportunity for you to come out and celebrate with us, but to also take some time to answer any questions you may have about or venture, or for you to share your thoughts and ideas. So we will be posting details about this as we work them out over the next few days.

As always, thanks for your continued encouragement and support!

–Brady–


 

The gift of a creative heart…


We wanted to find a way to say Happy Valentine’s Day to our supporters that reflects our creativity and could easily be passed on. So we reached out to one of our biggest supporters, Adam Bruma. As always, Adam accepted our challenge and created a fantastic little video showing you how to make an origami heart. Watch the video and make your own. And please feel free to share your creations with us by posting a photo or video of your own. Be sure to use the hashtag #ARTFULheart.

If you like what you see and origami looks like something you want to explore further, then be sure to sign up for one of Adam’s upcoming classes at the Coventry Branch of the Cleveland Heights Library on either March 26th or April 9th.

Also keep your eyes open for Adam’s work at MIX at CMA in the fall. We will have more details regarding this event in the months to come.

THANKS ADAM! And happy Valentine’s Day to all of our creative supporters.


 

Fiscal Agency… New Website… Interested Artists…


Have you seen what we’ve been working on? Finalizing a Fiscal Agent, creating a data base of artists that are interested in renting studio space and helping ARTFUL, and a new look and feel to our website.

What is a Fiscal Agent you ask? Well, that is when an established non-profit “lends” its 501(c)3 status to the new entity while it either files its own paperwork with the government or simply raises funds. In our case, we are excited to announce that FutureHeights has agreed to serve as our Fiscal Agent while we wait for approval of our paperwork with the federal government. This will allow us to keep our project moving forward, while giving our supporters the opportunity to make tax-deductible donations to our cause. Meanwhile, we have a group of our board members and volunteers working on our comprehensive Fundraising plan which we hope to release some time in February. For more information, please visit the “Donate” page on our new website.

Speaking of new website… have you checked it out yet? We still have a few tweaks to make, but all-in-all our new site is fully up and running! Here you will find our latest blog posts, updates about our project, contact forms and more. This new site will more easily grow along with our project. We hope you find it informative, and of course, visually appealing.

And if you missed our post over the weekend, we are asking that any interested artists fill out our special form. From the response rate, we’d be surprised if you didn’t see our post, but if you didn’t please fill out, or share the form with any artists you think may be interested in renting studio space, teaching classes, participating in shows and special events, etc. The more understanding and documentation we have of the artists who want to support ARTFUL, the more we show to foundations and corporations how viable and worthy our cause is.

For those of you who are not artists, but would like to be involved in ARTFUL, or just remain updated on our progress, please fill out our General Contact form. ARTFUL’s mission to support artists and our community will require the help and ingenuity of people from different backgrounds and experience.

Now that we have our Fiscal Agent, we will be able to move forward on many of the key building blocks for ARTFUL and anticipate 2016 to be a critical year for our project. The more help and support we receive from all of you, the stronger our foundation will be! Our Facebook group continues to grow, nearing 1,000 members now, as does our Twitter following and our Instagram following. One of the best, and easiest ways you can help us right now is to keep spreading the word about ARTFUL to your friends and family. Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool. Please share our Facebook posts, our blog posts, twitter and Instagram posts with your followers as that has a wonderful impact on getting the word out. Email people you know with links to our website that may be of interest with them. And of course, when engaged in conversations about Cleveland, the Heights, or the Arts – please mention ARTFUL and tell people to visit our webpage for more info. If you have any leads for us, please feel free to email us with info, as well.

We are looking to host an event celebrating our 1 year anniversary and launch a new program in conjunction with that. Since our anniversary is in February, we are hoping to have the event around the end of that month, but as soon as we have ironed out more of the details, we will be announcing that on our Events page.

Thanks to all who continue to offer their help and support, and thank you VERY MUCH to all the artists who have already filled out our Interested Artists form. We will keep you posted of our progress, so be sure to check our Facebook page regularly, or our blog page for the latest information.


 

Interested Artists


If you are an artist who may be interested in renting studio space, teaching classes, or helping bring ARTFUL to fruition, PLEASE fill out our online form. By filling out this form you will be assisting us when we look to sources for funding. By showing foundations and corporations the level of interest we have from our artists, we prove that we are a viable and worthy cause. So PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE fill this out and/or share with your circle of friends and family.

Fill Out This Form Today