by Lynne Scheible, Executive Director
I just received the newsletter from the National Endowment for the Arts. The first piece is entitled “Standing on their Shoulders.” This reminded me that since I started working at Artworks I have often thought to myself that, “We are standing on the shoulders of those that came before us.” I love the story of Artworks’ genesis and how in 2000, Sandi Withrow, then Downtown Business Association Director, viewing many empty stores, thought of a way to beautify the downtown and asked a few artists if they would display their work in store windows. While a few were hanging their art in what is now Fairman’s Apparel, people kept coming by and asking, “What is going on? When is the Art Gallery going to open?”
At that moment there was not a plan, but a few people got together and said, “Why not? Let’s do this!” Deb Szot, Chamber Director at the time, walked around and in one week—just one week—raised over $10,000. Money was donated, volunteers offered their blood, sweat and tears, and businesses provided paint and carpet. The next thing you know, Artworks was born.
There were many involved in Artworks’ creation, and we stand on their shoulders as we walk around 106 North Michigan Avenue, Artworks’ current home. It is a miracle on Michigan Avenue. Come walk the building and be stunned by what has been accomplished by people that love the arts, love our community. Be Amazed!
It’s Artworks15th year and the arts in our community need you now more than ever. Let’s continue to sustain this dream of keeping the arts alive in Mecosta County. Buy from The Painted Turtle, take a class, become a member, volunteer, donate! See you at the Miracle on Michigan Avenue.