This summer has been an eventful one for us here in the NCLAC office. We’ve had a team of eager interns who have helped us in our endeavors, and since the summer is almost over, their internships will end as well. Tess Stickney has been working for us with our exhibition-related programming. She has been the friendly face in the Dixie Center Lobby at each of the Dog Days of Summer Art Crawls. She has written press releases and blog posts, and has assisted with summer arts camps and farmers market projects. Hillary Clary has been our education outreach intern, working every Saturday at Ruston Farmers Market where children have been able to “make something with NCLAC.” Hillary also assisted and taught with our Summer Arts Camps. Nicholas Davis has been doing community research for us, reaching out to find new partners in our outlying parishes, and seeing how we can better serve our region. He has also helped with the Farmers Market and Summer Arts Camps. Rosalynne Fluty has been working behind the scenes, designing print campaigns for the upcoming ARToberfest and Holiday Arts Tour. You’ll soon see her handiwork when promotion begins for these favorite programs. This crew has done a wonderful job for us, and they’ve been eager to help however we’ve needed them. I find myself personally invested in our interns. It pleases me to see them find desirable jobs when they graduate, to see them volunteering with other organizations, and to see their involvement with the arts in our region. We’ve just finished our last art camp this week, which makes four weeks of camps this summer. We had 127 students total, with one camp for the Boys and Girls Club, two camps in Ruston, and one camp in Jonesboro. Thanks to our generous Picasso donors who donated scholarships, and to Ruston Kiwanis Club and First National Bank for sponsoring the Boys and Girls Club camp. An Entergy grant provided supply money, community members donated supplies, tireless volunteers and talented teachers worked diligently, and creative children topped it all off.
Our Keep the Arts Afloat Campaign has come to a close, with funds raised that will help our organization continue its work for another year. The winning donor this year is Kathy Hightower of Homer, Louisiana. Thanks to Kathy for her donation, as well as to each of our other KTAA donors. This fundraiser is a huge undertaking each year, and we are so appreciative of our community-members that make it possible.
The annual Peach Art Exhibit was a success this year, with many wonderful works of art displayed in the Ruston Civic Center. NCLAC Board Members Linda Snider Ward and Bob Ward, of Farmerville, will be Co-Chairs of the Peach Art Exhibit Committee for 2015. We look forward to having their leadership and expertise with this program. They are both artists, retirees from higher education at regional universities, and members of the Union Parish Arts Council.
August will begin NCLAC’s fall membership drive, and we have exciting perks for our members this year. As usual, discounted tickets and tuition are included with certain membership levels, but this year we also have artist-made items for our patrons, guardians and benefactors. Be sure to keep an eye on your mail when our fall newsletter arrives for details about these benefits. Membership is the cornerstone of our nonprofit, and our driving force for arts programming.