Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mountain Empire Creative Arts Council

As some of you know, I've been involved in our local arts council for the past couple of years. It started out as Judith's brainchild and me as her trusty sidekick -- a perfect marriage of the right-brained visionary (her) and the left-brained detail woman (me, obviously). Then we discovered that a very similar group with almost the identical name was already at work in Campo, fifteen minutes further east, and the arts family grew -- we now had a great four-person Board of Directors and many plans to make happen. Next, our new Director, Denise, had rubbed elbows with a visionary in Alpine, fifteen minutes west of us, and Stephanie and her already-established 501 (c)3 organization, The Southern California Center for Youth, Nature, and the Arts took us aboard as a DBA (Doing Business As), and without having to reinvent the wheel, we became a non-profit organization as well. And we also pulled in Myrna who works extensively with the local kids as an art docent and as a library volunteer as our Youth Coordinator.

So the Mountain Empire Creative Arts Council (MECAC) began to flourish as we pushed for some name recognition in the back country. Each month we asked a local artist to be "featured" and share his or her work with the group meeting together in the brand new library community room. We've held two Holiday Fairs in late November-early December to allow our artists to sell their work. We're sponsoring our second Wellness Fair Art Contest next week which involves kids in grades K-6 all over the back country. And we're working busily on our second summer art program for the community, for both kids and adults. We also try to foster art expression during our town's annual festival and with any other art opportunities that arise.

The last few months have seen some significant change: our dynamic Director is moving to Arizona as her husband has found a new job, and then our beloved Treasurer and his wife, Bob and Margo, have had to resign from the Board due to severe family issues. But we've recently added Stephanie on as Treasurer (as recently as today, actually!) and are checking into two or three potential board members as well. We have the art contest next week and much preparation for our Summer Art Program coming up in late June, so there's no dearth of work to be done, to say the VERY least.

We've also been discussing starting a website. We did start one at the beginning of our journey, but the web designer wasn't as dependable as we needed him to be. We've beeb in contact with another web designer, but although she was cutting us a great deal, our little bank account can't handle a steady draw of funds for a website. Today I asked about doing a blog -- and the idea was received very positively. I got it all set up tonight, and you may follow the link RIGHT HERE to see it. We have our Coming Events listed, our Board of Directors, our Mission Statement, a nice Welcome, our logo, and a great backcountry photo that Keith took of the meadow outside our gate. So we hope that this blog/site will be a great way to get our message out as well as to save some bucks on web design. I also have the link listed under "Web Sites of Interest" in my sidebar where it will be always available. Check it out!

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