March 2020

Dear Community Friends and Supporters, 

Will you join us in bringing meaningful year- round arts opportunities to our community? We are starting our annual fundraising drive and want you to know we value your referrals and any financial support you can give. We are a nonprofit organization in our 21sth year of “Empowering Lives through the Arts”. We depend on grants and donations to keep our programs going and affordable. In return we have been able to develop and offer a wide variety of classes and programs that are meeting the arts interests and needs of many people- over 10,000 per year in class and audience attendance. Our goals have been not only to help, empower, and inspire youth and teens with skills and opportunities, but to find fun, affordable ways to bring people- teens, youth, and families together. Our year round offerings include:

Parent/child preschool programs
After school classes, summer camps
Free Teen programs
An evening Creative Stage theater program
Adult art classes- Paint party and periodic class series
Youth and family seasonal 2 hour activity events
Live theater, concerts, and open mic opportunities

We also offer our Annual “ART-TELL” Art and Storytelling competitions and events, and help with art components to various community awareness events. Additionally, we house the World of Puppetry Museum and provide bi-monthly tours, youth and preschool activities, and school and community outreach programs. Aside from our own arts related events, the building provides community space for many other activities, including piano recitals (with our baby grand piano), private guitar lessons, Tanner dance satellite classes, and home school group classes.

As an art center we have the ability to offer a fun and exciting variety of opportunities to the community. With this is the ability to validate individuals as they share their unique talents, insights and creative ideas. Our mission includes working with high risk or disenchanted youth and their parents. We strive to provide these students a place to belong and be productive, too. This means offering affordable classes and scholarships so no one is left out due to financial limitations. Our classes are relatively small so there is lots of individual attention, and everyone who comes through the door is welcomed. Offering several programs concurrently has not only made utilities and building upkeep more efficient, but makes the Fine Arts Center an exciting place to be.

We believe and have seen good art experiences not only teach great skills but increase self-esteem and a respect for community. Theater, music, and visual arts all open minds to new ideas and good critical thinking. Our students learn from their art experiences and develop new skills in a setting of friendship. Many national studies have shown that students in Community Theater not only are more likely to stay in school, but also show significantly better report cards. We have seen this to be true for our students, too, and have been privileged to see amazing changes in participating students, especially teens. We see shy students like Amanda** and Suzanne try theater/art classes and not only make friends, but shine with the joy of accomplishment. We use the youth volunteer program as a way to re-enforce good job skills/manners and see teens like Charles and James maturing in their abilities to take charge. We see parents encouraged when difficult to motivate students get excited to come and be a part of after school classes. Parents regularly tell us how grateful they are to see their children get really excited about attending our camps or after school classes. (** all names in this paragraph have been changed to protect privacy, but represent students verifiable in our records).

We are now attracting more and more teens wanting something positive to do, a place to belong and/or wanting more self-development opportunities. Some just want to feel needed and are grateful for small jobs they can do. We want teens with varied arts interests to find ways to fit in. As they talk and we share with them, they also get to see the value of learning to help each other and work behind the scenes. Students here learn to willingly share lead roles and find value in being part of a team that works together and respects each other. We have a few more programs we would like to develop but need increased funding to initiate them and then create ways to have those programs become more self-supporting.

Again, as we grow and are able to benefit more people, we can’t thank you enough for your interest and support. Your donation and acknowledgement help us all to be a stronger community. Donations and grants make our programs truly possible. It is because of community help, no student or family is turned away for inability to pay. Will you help us continue to offer these positive arts activities to develop the abilities and self-esteem of our future citizens? Will you help us build a better community for all of us?

Please consider partnering with us by making a donation now or setting up a monthly contribution. You are welcome to have your contribution earmarked for a particular event or activity. We are grateful to have been able to complete a facelift renovation this past Fall (after many years of planning), and excited that it gives us a grand ticket booth entrance wall with ideal space to recognize significant “Note-Worthy” contributors. Along with ART-TELL recognition in April, names on website, and in printed programs, we will be posting various sizes of engraved musical notes on our wall for all donations over $100 and welcome you to be recognized there.

We are an IRS recognized 501c(3) non-profit and your donation is tax deductible. Feel free to come and see what we are doing. E-mail or call for any questions. Or check out our website listed below. Thanks again for your consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Jennifer Delaney
Fine Arts Center Board President