Christmas Wishes – Dear Santa:

As I enjoy the warm company of family 1500 miles from Jamestown on this 2013 holiday I think how lucky I am to be involved with the Art Center. We all get a chance to leave home once and awhile, we experience the offerings of larger communities and cities, but I am always amazed to realize that what we are doing at the Arts Center is pretty extraordinary. 

The Arts Center’s success is due to many factors but our fearless leader Taylor Barnes simply won’t take “no” for an answer to any potential programming opportunity (at least rarely). This means we are able to offer activities and events to Jamestown that other communities might pass up. This isn’t always simple nor easy but we find ways to make it happen.

One key factor to The Arts Center’s success is community support. And it’s growing. We are not about being a stuffy, elitist organization but one that is welcoming to all people. And while we strive for quality offerings we also want what we do to be fun and enjoyable.

The Art Park project is a great example of a typical Art Center undertaking. It began as conversation, then became a dream. It’s been a mobilization of many factors and as they say “the stars are in alignment” for it to become a reality. The month of December brought the community and consultants to the table to shape the Art Park design and visualize its purpose. The latest design sketch came to me via email and even from afar I’m excited. There will still be lots of tweaking but it’s taking shape.

Art Park Schmatic

I see many and most of the features that everyone asked for: performance stage with seating brume; landscaping features that can double as seating, space dividers and sculptural elements; trees and plantings to provide shade and sound proofing; locations for art making; and pleasing pedestrian pathways. Looking at the design, on the conceptual level, I can easily visualize the flow and use and it makes sense. On the reality (or rather imaginary) level, I can visualize walking on the paths, sitting on the walls, seeing the performances, and experiencing the art. The trees at maturity will be a beautiful counterpoint to downtown’s bricks and mortar something planners of yesteryear knew were essential to attractive cities.

So what’s next, how do we make this a reality? One national grant has already been submitted another is due in early January. Some of the money is raised but more is needed. Unfortunately, it always comes down to dollars but we think and hope 2014 will be the year we see the Art Park take shape thanks to timing and terrific community support. Everybody wants to see this become a reality for Jamestown–a downtown gem, a hub for outdoor creative fun and community enjoyment. 

So Santa, what do you think, can you help us out? Contributions of any size are most welcome.