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Ottawa County Arts & Humanities Council
Something new is stirring up in Ottawa County- a group of creative minded people has taken it upon themselves to form the Ottawa County Arts & Humanities Council. The group has been putting feelers out into the community to see if there is an interest in building such an organization. In the first meeting earlier this June, positive feedback gave organizers the confidence to move forward with establishing a new arts council.
Leading the organization are some familiar faces around Ottawa County- Eldon Clark, of Eldon Clark Photography, spearheaded the idea- speaking with Crooked Nail Owner, Lexi Kirn, to get the ball rolling. Clark and Kirn used their contacts to pull a group of likeminded individuals together for a brainstorming session, which produced nominations for a cabinet, the council’s name, a membership structure, and ideas for upcoming fundraisers.
Economic Development Director, Phil Aumick was present to guide the group as to the best plan of establishing a Non-Profit Organization. Hope Spano and Devi Wilbur were able to give information regarding grant applications. Catherine Doud, Danton McDiffett, and Debbie Wagner offered advice to the group about networking with other artist groups and fundraising projects they have been involved with. Also present were Becky Austin, Debbie Clark, Mary Collins, Jerri Drummond, Janel Kirn, and Karen Reed.
The group collectively voted for Lexi Kirn to become president of the Ottawa County Arts & Humanities Council, with Devi Wilbur as Vice President, and Debbie Clark taking on Treasurer/Secretary positions. Kirn says, “The purpose for the Arts & Humanities Council is to give exposure to the arts as a group that reflects all forms of expression and creativity. We not only want to encourage our community to do more art, but also to get involved with other creative endeavors- theater, poetry, crafts, culinary arts, music… the list goes on! We want to see what people are interested in, form classes to expand on those talents, and create exhibits to show off our community’s work. We feel there is a huge creative presence here in Ottawa County that most don’t realize is here or understand how to support it.”
The Arts & Humanities Council will be a resource to network and build a stronger art presence in Ottawa County. You don’t have to be an artist to be involved in this organization- anyone who enjoys creativity, music, performance, or just good food is encouraged to join the council. Charter Memberships are being offered for $20 per individual, $35 per family, $10 per full time student, and $100 for corporate sponsorships. Kirn explains, “Memberships are important to get this group off the ground, but we won’t turn away donations & supplies to start projects! We want to take this program to the next level. With such little available government funding for the arts right now, we really need to rely on each other to make this happen.”
Meetings will be held every 2nd Monday of the month, 7pm at Prairie Fire Grill. Contact Lexi Kirn at the Crooked Nail for more information, or find us on Facebook at Ottawa County Arts and Humanities.
Our first Brainstorming Session for creating the Arts & Humanities Council exhibited an enthusiasm for keeping a strong base to build our organization on. (No one dared knock the Jenga tower down!) Pictured are some of our founding members: Danton McDiffett, Mary Collins, Phil Aumick, Lexi Kirn, Catherine Doud, Hope Spano, and Debbie Clark. Photo courtesy of Eldon Clark.
Have you gotten your membeship card yet? Stop in to the Crooked Nail to join the Arts & Humanities Council and become a part of something exciting!