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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 07/25/12
Starkweather seeks input
on center's new direction
by CHRIS GRAYRomeo's art center is seeking the creativity of residents in moving forward.
Observer Staff Writer
The Starkweather Arts Center is seeking input from its surrounding communities on what people want to see from the non-profit center.
Fred Bridges, acting secretary to the Starkweather Society, said the center wants to gather suggestions and recommendations on what programs the center wants.
He equated this initiative to the Renaissance era of art history, saying it's a time of revolution and change.
"We want to grow in a way that the community wants us to grow," he said. "We want everyone to come with us and bring their ideas for the re-birth of Starkweather."
The center has already undergone some changes to its infrastructure. Jennifer Conrad is the acting president while Vicki Kuhns is the treasurer.
Meanwhile, Kristin Barr's position as art director has been modified so she can concentrate on coordinating the art exhibits.
Despite this, Bridges said the new board wants to acknowledge how previous members carried the center to where it is today while moving forward.
"We want to pay homage to what and who has come before us and how they've gotten us to where we are," he said.
Dave Pyrce, a recent addition to the Starkweather Society and chair of the music committee, said the board has been talking about gathering feedback before the board changed its members around.
"We're re-structuring things and re-organizing things to some extent and trying to do some new things," he said. "We want to know what are the things we should be doing that people would be interested in and want to participate in."
Some of the ideas they've come up with include expanding what is offered in the shop, more musical programming or bringing back art classes.
"We've done art classes and for a while they were doing okay," Pyrce said. "We aren't doing them at all anymore because the interest has petered out."
They said a part of the inspiration was the center's history. Upon passing away in 1987, Helen Starkweather left her estate to the Romeo Historical Society and Village of Romeo to be dedicated to promoting and fostering art as well as the village's character.
They also noted that the non-profit center is dependent on sponsorships and donations, so they are seeking ways of collecting both in order to enhance its programming.
"We're not in danger of closing by any means, but absolutely we want to grow and I guess we need the financial support to do that," he said.
They said they are working on how to properly gather input, whether it's using the center's website or having people submit comments at the center itself.
The Starkweather Arts Center is located at 219 N Main Street. For more information, call (576) 752-5700 or visit www.starkweatherarts.com.