Arts Council Formed to Increase Funding for Area

Posted on December 17, 2007

The Community Foundation of St. Clair County (CFSCC) has formed the Blue Water Arts Council (BWAC) as part of their strategic initiative to provide an instrument for focused and increased funding available to support arts and culture related programs, projects, and organizations. The Blue Water Arts Council will focus on increasing funding of local arts and culture organizations and encourage collaboration among existing arts and culture related organizations, local businesses, and the general public’s appreciation and involvement. Through support of the Anderson Fund held at the CFSCC grants will be made available in 2008 to support a wide range of arts and culture in the blue water area.

“A vibrant arts and culture community is crucial to our quality of life and that is what businesses and families are looking for when they want to relocate. The Blue Water area is developing arts and culture and we are taking on the job to get the word out,” said Kathy Duffy, council member. “A rich quality of life leads to a growing economy, increased educational opportunities, and cultural tourism. The BWAC will be the catalyst to making the blue water area known for a great quality of life as the arts and culture community develops.”

The BWAC will serve as an umbrella organization focusing on grant making and helping local arts and culture organizations grow. The BWAC will be launching a website, http://www.bluewaterarts.org, in January 2008 which will feature a region wide calendar of events, links to arts and culture organizations in the area, and grant applications. The website will serve as a one stop shopping for artists and patrons. To be able to apply for a grant, arts organizations must be a 501(c)3 and a member of the Blue Water Arts Council.

In the year 2001, Michigan was ranked in the top 5 in the nation for funding arts and culture, after severe budget cuts in 2007, Michigan is now ranked among the last of all 50 states. “There is no better time than now to form a regional arts council and to get our local communities, donors, businesses, and arts and culture organizations engaged with one another working together to creatively improve our quality of life in the Blue Water Area,” said Dennis Zembala, Chairman of BWAC.

Website: www.bluewaterarts.org

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