May 21, 2012 Hallowell, Maine — The Kennebec Valley Art Association (KVAA) recently received a $3,430 grant from the Kay E. Dopp Fund of the Maine Community Foundation for a proposal entitled “Building the capacity of the KVAA and the Harlow Gallery through investments in programming, planning and sustainability”.
The funding will allow the KVAA board of directors to update the organization’s strategic plan. The planning process is especially significant for the nonprofit arts group this year since the group will soon be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Harlow Gallery. During the planning process the board and staff will solicit feedback and participation from the general community and will integrate ideas for events in 2013 to mark and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Harlow Gallery in 1963.
Kennebec Valley Art Association board and staff are strong believers in the power of planning. The organization has experienced dramatic growth and change dating from the drafting of their first ever strategic plan in 2005. Since then the Harlow Gallery’s growing reputation as a vibrant and inclusive community arts center has meant increased audience and more supporters, donors and volunteers. Membership has risen dramatically from less than 80 in 2004 to about 350 community and artist members today. The art association’s operating budget has more than tripled over the same time period, and the group successfully raised funds to make major improvements to their historic building at 160 Water Street in 2006-2009. Executive Director Deborah Fahy said that “…managing the Harlow’s growth curve has been, at times, extraordinarily challenging but also a very exciting and fulfilling process for everyone involved.”
The Kennebec Valley Art Association has been an integral part of the cultural life of central Maine for decades, and a positive economic agent from the very beginning. 2013 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Harlow Gallery in downtown historic Hallowell, an event that, in 1963, acted as a catalyst in Hallowell s urban renewal, and helped shape the city into the vibrant arts and cultural destination it is today. According to Fahy, “The current board and staff feel extremely privileged to be playing a part in furthering the 50 year legacy of the KVAA. Just like before, I expect the process of strategic planning will be a great team building process. The board works with staff to forge a new, collective vision for the future of the organization. We’ll end up with a road map to the future as we embark on the the Harlow’s next 50 years!”
The Kennebec Valley Art Association, a 501(c) membership based nonprofit, was founded in 1958 in Augusta and opened the Harlow Gallery in downtown Hallowell in 1963. Its mission is to connect and celebratory art, artists and community. Find out how to get involved at www.harlowgallery.org.
A statewide organization with offices in Ellsworth and Portland, the Maine Community Foundation partners with donors and nonprofits to strengthen Maine Communities. For more information visit www.mainecf.org or call 1-877-700-6800.