We’ve Met the Brooks & Miriam Harlow $20,000 Challenge!

The Kennebec Valley Art Association is delighted to announce that we’ve succeeded in raising $20,000 to complete the challenge grant presented to us at the end of 2007.  Last November Brooks and Miriam Harlow of Florida presented the art association with a $20,000 donation provided we match that amount by December 31, 2008. 

The Harlow family has a long history of supporting the Harlow Gallery, dating from the KVAA’s purchase of our building at 160 Water Street in 1963.  Back then, when Mrs. Genevieve Harlow Goodwin of Connecticut heard about efforts to raise funds to open the first art gallery in the capital area, she donated the balance needed to purchase the building.  Mrs. Goodwin asked that the new gallery be named in memory of her father, Dr. George A. Harlow, a doctor who was born in Augusta in 1867 and died in 1950.  Mrs. Goodwin’s nephew, Mr. Brooks Harlow Jr. has been a member of the Kennebec Valley Art Association since 1982, and carries on the family tradition of supporting the arts in Maine to this day.

A recent $5,000 grant from Maine Arts Commission helped to secure the matching funds along with a final $350 donation from Richard Davies and Susan Mac Pherson of Hallowell.  (THANK YOU!!)  Deborah Fahy, Executive Director of the Kennebec Valley Art Association said, “When Mr. Harlow first made the challenge some of our board members where nervous about whether we could actually raise $20,000 in just a year, but we’ve done it well ahead of schedule!  Artists and art lovers from all over the area responded with generous donations.  The people of Hallowell where extremely supportive. It’s very encouraging because it has confirmed for us that our neighbors value our presence here in downtown Hallowell and our ongoing mission to support the arts and artists of central Maine.”

The $5,000 grant came from the Maine Arts Commission’s Building Capacity in Maine’s Communities program, and was granted in part to help meet the Brooks and Miriam Harlow $20,000 challenge.  The money will be used to support the position of Assistant Director (new as of 2007).  Nancy Barron of Gardiner is currently working in this position.  The grant funds will also be used for technical and clerical support for the volunteer treasurer of the Kennebec Valley Art Association.  Penny Markley of Winthrop is currently serving in this role. 

The Maine Arts Commission works to encourage and stimulate public interest and participation in the cultural heritage and cultural programs of our state; to expand the state’s cultural resources; and to encourage and assist freedom of artistic expression for the well being of the arts, to meet the needs and aspirations of persons in all parts of the state.  For more information about the Maine Arts Commission, visit http://mainearts.maine.gov/ or call 207/287-2724.

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