A community fundraising project has kicked off, with its sights set on helping to finish building a community arts facility beside the art gallery.
The Hope and District Arts Council launched a Gofundme campaign with a goal of $20,000 to help turn a modular building into the new Art Machine studio space.
In 2016, the Hope and District Arts Council bought a modular building to house community artclasses. After the building was vandalized and finding out the roof needed replacing, they are now seeking community support in making the build a reality.
Money raised through the Gofund me page will go to replacing the roof and renovation costs. If there is any money left over, this will go into Art Machine programs.
“We’ve had to basically gut the thing,” Diane Ferguson, executive director of the Hope Arts Council, said. Vandals broke every piece of glass, every window and ripped out commercial cabinets in the modular building.
When finished, the 1,500 square foot building will sit beside the Hope Arts Gallery on Fort Street and Third Avenue as a community art space.
“Eventually, it’s going to be a community arts facility and we’ll provide arts and cultural programming there. It’s going to be two workshop spaces,” Ferguson said.
Studio A will be dedicated to visual arts, Studio B to pottery.
“We want to keep Studio A as dust free as possible because a lot of seniors can’t handle the dust,” she said.
The Art Machine now houses its classes in various facilities around the community, which is proving expensive at commercial rates.
Some classes, such as the children’s visual arts class, had to be shut down until the modular building opens.
The art machine offers arts classes for all ages. Children from age three all the way up to seniors attend the classes offered year round. These include “acrylic and watercolour painting, paper crafts, altered art, collage, fabric arts, both handbuilt and wheel thrown pottery.”
Ferguson said the rates for attending classes are affordable, with drop ins for children at $2.50. She added children and seniors in need can make arrangements with the arts council to attend if cost is an issue.
In addition to the donations coming from the community, project donors include the District of Hope, the province, BC/Canada 150, BC Collaborative Spaces, New Horizons for Seniors and other private donors.