You do not have to look close to realize that our town, Fuquay-Varina is evolving into a quality-of-life place to be. In the past, many individuals and families would go out of town for something to do or enjoy, but now, not only is there reasons to enjoy staying in our own area, others are coming here.
The Fuquay-Varina Arts Council is part of that positive evolution. In late 2008, a small group got together and decided to setup a formal Arts Council, as not only a non-profit entity, but an organization with federal 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. That was achieved with no outside professional help or funding. From that humble start we are now very involved in the evolution of the arts in our community. The Council is here to support all art in its many forms, and realize an active art environment adds color and texture to where we call home.
Since that time, they have teamed with other civic organizations and schools, and have a significant relationship with the Town of Fuquay-Varina. The Council’s initial founding meetings were held in space freely provided by the Town, and to this day the Town helps with space as needed. The Fuquay-Varina Town Board has also provided increasing financial grants to help the Arts Council with its mission.
Cindy Varian was a key supporter allowing space at her Stars Theater downtown for larger meetings and many events over the years. We all miss the passion for the arts Cindy provided, however we’re excited about our town leaders stepping up to purchase the Stars Theater. The real show of support is that the town leaders are funding a significant conversion of that small theater into a much larger Cultural Arts Center. This new center will be a catalyst to the arts in the region. Maureen Daly, the Town’s Art Center Director, foresees an important relationship with the Arts Council. As the Town will be providing and expanding an Art and Cultural schedule of programming, projects and classes; the Arts Council will be a useful source for the Artisans and Crafters to support those efforts.
Without a facility to call home, the Arts Council has made do and provided and/or supported event around town. Over the years the Council has provided Pop-up Artist Markets, regular holiday events, performances (including the Golden Gates performers from Russia), and has even been involved with the Balloon Festival. Even Santa Claus is very involved with the Arts Council, which has provided the Santa on the big float in the Christmas Parade for over 10 years. Watch for “Santa in the Quay” on December 10 on the patio at 405 Broad St. from 10am to 4pm to get your pictures with the Jolly Old Elf.
Another interesting activity is the Gallery Around Town. The project spreads art throughout the town. We always love to hear the question “Where’s the Gallery?” The answer is “all over town”. The premise is that merchants have wall space and artists have art. This process has been evolving, and a few merchants have embraced this opportunity to have original artwork by local artists grace their walls. Over the next few months we will be reviewing improvements to how the Gallery works, in order to provide the most effective way to get even more artists and merchants involved.
Ultimately the Council hopes to generate sub-groups of artisans with similar passions or at least interests. An initial such group is highly successful and is approaching their first anniversary. Jill Johnson Egan, founder of Kindermonkey Learning books, and an Arts Council Board member founded this sub-group for writers and authors. The Writers Guild meets monthly with a speaker every month. They focus on all facets of writing, publishing and marketing, with an emphasis on enjoying the meetings. They already have 3 published authors to speak before Christmas. Jill calls it “glean and harvest – we glean from or speakers and harvest the next month by putting ideas from speaker into action”. This dynamic group now has a quarterly newsletter written by Jill’s Co-host, Laura Wunsch. Their next upcoming event, a Book Marketing Workshop is November 29 led by Lawrence Harte at the Rock Harbor Grill. This group embraces all ages and all walks of life because they are led by passion! Jill in the guise of Kindermonkey loves our group because as she says, “make learning fun” and that’s what we do!!
ARTS COUNCIL ANNOUNCEMENT
The Arts Council has just recruited and hired Patricia Goodwin as their Executive Director to be its advocate and liaison with the town and community. Patti has lived in Fuquay-Varina for over 10 years, having moved here from Western New York. She has a Masters in Art Education with experience as an educator, as well as in the corporate professional world. In addition to her professional experience, she has personally worked as an artist in a broad range of mediums, musical groups and community theater. Patti has also worked with successful volunteer based groups, and has been actively involved the South Wake Park Project, where she has helped grow this grass roots community organization. As an artist herself, she has a passion for the arts and her community, and will be a sound asset to grow the Arts in our area, as well as inspire many to join the organization. She is excited to accept this new role, and looks forward to helping make a difference in our community, and where she is raising her family.
“These are very exciting times for the arts in Fuquay-Varina, with the town’s Arts Center poised to open in late spring, and a growing arts and entertainment culture emerging in our town. I am very proud to have this opportunity to work with the Fuquay-Varina Arts Council, and look forward to promoting the arts in Fuquay-Varina, as well as the visual and performing artists who call the area home.”
The Fuquay-Varina Arts Council is excited to be working with Patti to help better support our local artists.
The Fuquay-Varina Arts Council is extremely grateful for the loyal support of our members, town leaders and staff. More volunteers and public involvement makes more possible. We all are artists in some way, and even if you think you are not, you probably enjoy art in some form. Please consider a membership as an individual or business. Your small (or large) contribution will show in our community. Visit our website for more information. www.FVartscouncil.org
For more information contact the Fuquay-Varina Arts Council at:
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org — Phone: (919) 399-3183
Mail: P.O. Box 533, Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526