Gifts & Grants News

$20,000 Challenge Received!

The Kennebec Valley Art Association has received a generous challenge grant of $20,000 from Mr. and Mrs. Brooks Harlow Jr. of Florida. The Harlows are challenging our community right here in Maine to match this amount. This is an urgent appeal, because if we don’t raise the matching funds, we lose the $20,000!  We are currently working on our annual appeal letters — if you get one, please give as generously as you can to help secure the future of the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell.   But you don’t need to wait for a letter — send a check now, paid to “KVAA” to the following address.  (The KVAA can also now accept gifts of stock, which will count towards the match. If you are interested, please call Deb Fahy or Penny Markley at the Harlow Gallery: 622-3813.)

Harlow Gallery
160 Water Street
Hallowell, ME 04347
Attn: Harlow Challenge

A series of fundraisers are also planned, beginning with 8x10x80 on November 30 – December 2.   Ornaments submitted to the Holiday Ornament Contest will be offered for sale for $20 during the Annual Holiday Art Show & Sale in December.   All proceeds count towards the match, so stop in to the Harlow soon!   Watch for more fun fund-raising events in the late winter and spring.

Mr. & Mrs. Harlow’s $20,000 grant, and matching contributions will be used to increase staffing to meet demands of our growing organization and to make repairs to the building in preparation for improvements to the currently unusable third floor space.  We are hoping to renovate the space for use as affordable live/work space for local visual or performing artists.  Repair work currently planned for this spring includes replacing the roof and windows and re-pointing the brick façade.

A little history…

The purchase of 160 Water Street in 1963 was made possible by donations from the community, especially a substantial contribution from Mrs. Genevieve Harlow Goodwin of Hartford, CT.   The Harlow Gallery is named in memory of Mrs. Goodwin’s father, Dr. George A. Harlow, who was born in Augusta.  The dedication of the newly opened Harlow Gallery in November 1963 was an exciting day for Hallowell, which was then just beginning a process of renewal and restoration after a long period of decline. Hallowell Mayor Raymond M. Rideout Jr. stated that he was “… delighted that one more of our historic buildings has been brought back to life in such a good cause….This event … adds much to Hallowell’s restoration.”

Mrs. Goodwin continued to make annual contributions to the Harlow Gallery for the rest of her life. Her nephew, Mr. Brooks Harlow Jr. and his wife have carried on the philanthropic family connection with the organization. Mr. Harlow became a lifetime member in 1982 and has made generous annual contributions ever since.

Mr. Brooks Harlow Jr. appreciates the new energy and activity at the Harlow Gallery that have resulted from the hiring of an executive director in 2003.  Linda Murray, who the first to hold this position, did much to get the organization on a forward moving track at a time when gallery came close to closing for good.  The current director, Deborah Fahy, started in October of 2004.  At that time, she and the KVAA board of directors completed an organizational assessment followed by strategic planning.  That groundwork has paid off in an increase in membership as the Harlow Gallery continues to develop into a vibrant, welcoming community arts center.  We believe that everyone should experience the arts, and that our mission is to support all artists in our community, from contemporary to traditional; from student to professional.

You can help! Send in your contribution now to the Harlow Challenge!