The Harlow recently relocated to a larger building after 55 years in our original space in downtown historic Hallowell. Because art is for everyone, this grassroots campaign will raise funds to install a wheelchair lift to the main gallery.
Help make The Harlow accessible:
The Harlow’s new home at 100 Water Street, just down the street from our old location is the perfect building for an art-space. It has two floors and multiple rooms, doubling our exhibition capacity, we now have dedicated workshop space, a new craft shop and accessible bathrooms on each floor. It’s much larger than our original home, and this has allowed us to expand programming to better serve the central Maine community. Our main gallery space is up a flight of stairs so it is essential that we install a wheelchair in the lobby to allow people with mobility challenges to enjoy our art exhibitions and events. We want to be able to welcome everyone in the community into our new space to enjoy the arts, including the 16% of Mainers who have some type of disability. We all know that the population of the state Maine is one of the oldest in the nation, and more and more of us are chosing to age in place. Our little city of Hallowell alone has multiple elderly housing facilities.
Phase 1: Give us a Lift!
Since early this year we have been working with consultants to determine the best, safest and most effective solutions to make the main gallery space fully accessible. We’ll be installing a professional grade wheelchair lift in the front lobby by mid 2019 or even sooner, if fundraising goes well! We’ll select one of three Maine-based ADA approved companies who have provided us with advice, recommendations and quotes to fine tune their design and specifications and complete the work as soon as we reach our fundraising goals.
There is a good chance that the new sidewalks being installed this summer by MaineDOT as part of the Water Street reconstruction will provide us with an accessible front entrance, and one of the parking spaces in front of our building will be designated handicapped parking with a cut curb for sidewalk access. The timing is perfect!
Phase 2: lower level access
If we surpass our goal, funding will go to “Phase 2” of our accessibility project, which is to either install a stair chair or ramp to provide access to the lower level exhibition and workshop space via the front or side entrance.
A little history:
The Harlow Gallery is owned and operated by the Kennebec Valley Art Association (KVAA), a 501(c)3 membership-based nonprofit founded in 1958. The KVAA opened the Harlow Gallery in downtown historic Hallowell in 1963, and thousands of Maine artists have shown their work at The Harlow over the intervening decades.
The Harlow embodies central Maine’s grassroots arts community with its diversity of art forms, welcoming atmosphere and spirit of experimentation and creativity. We are a vitally important cultural touchstone not just for Augusta, Hallowell, Gardiner, but for all the surrounding rural communities. While we primarily serve central Maine as an arts and cultural center, we are a known destination for artists and art lovers from statewide and beyond, attracting over 7,000 visitors annually resulting in direct economic benefits to the region. The Harlow Gallery was designated “Best Gallery in Maine 2015” by readers of Down East Magazine by popular vote.
Our mission is to connect and celebrate art, artists and community. We believe the arts are integral to a well-rounded society and so offer exhibitions, lectures, poetry readings, workshops, performances and more. Artists and community groups use the Harlow for meetings and cultural events and we offer opportunities for artist networking and professional development. Our unique, membership-based model supports artists at all levels: students, emerging artists, artists with disabilities, hobbyists and professionals. No portfolio review is required and every member is eligible to participate in two annual members’ shows resulting in wonderfully diverse, inclusive, salon style exhibitions.