Friday, April 9, 2010

Opportunities and Annoucements

THIS JUST IN: Actually, there's something new coming over the transom at WindhamARTS every day, in fact, several a day, but unfortunately there's no staff at the moment to disseminate all this great information about events and artist opportunities, and anyway, forwarding each announcement via email would overwhelm your inbox.

To help you get the word out, here's what I propose:

PUT YOUR ANNOUNCEMENTS IN THE COMMENTS section of this post. Directly below these words, read what others have posted, post everything (arts related only please) that you want the world to know! (Don't see it? Click on "COMMENTS" below. Now you see it!)

IF YOU WANT TO RECEIVE AN EMAIL notification every time someone adds a comment, click on “subscribe by email” on the right directly below the “POST A COMMENT” window.

If someone wants to take on the project of creating/resurrecting a WindhamARTS e-newletter, by all means, your help would be welcome! Contact me, I can set you up with all the info you need.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Exciting Developments

I've been too busy the last couple weeks to sit down and update all of you, but I've finally got a moment and there is big news to report:

WindhamARTS on Main Street

WAIM accepted the proposal! Which means WindhamARTS is still in the building on Main Street, sharing office space with Swiftwaters Artisans' Cooperative (SWAC), The Cooperative Hub (Coop-Hub), and the Digital Youth Cooperative (DYC). The studios are fully rented, including four new artists (I am one of them - I'll be managing the space in exchange for my studio), and SWAC is moving their shop into the gallery. WAIM will be working with us to create a plan to share use of the Annex with the community at large. The common space on the studio side upstairs is available now to be booked for meetings and classes - contact me for more details.

About the Gallery

Though we will all miss the gallery, it is wonderful that WindhamARTS can support Swiftwaters by offering up this space, as their shop provides a prime opportunity for local artisans to market their works. (You can learn more about how to join SWAC here). And don't forget we still have the Annex, and there is also ArtSpace down the street, which has a very nice gallery open to community use that is nowhere near booked. 

New Kids on the Block

The Coop-Hub and DYC are both new ventures led by individual recipients of Access Agency's "Break Out of Poverty" grants. The Coop-Hub will be a resource center offering mentoring, financing, and other assistance to newly forming Cooperative business ventures. They are planning a festival in the fall to showcase both Cooperatives and the Arts in our region. DYC plans to employ and train young people in order to form a digital media business serving local businesses. Their first project will be web design.

Nuts and Bolts

For the next two months, WindhamARTS will continue to hold the lease while supporting the formation of a new organization representing everyone in the space. This organization will sign a six-month lease agreement for June through November. After that, we should be in good shape to resume making agreements for a year at a time.


Once everyone is moved in and settled, we'll be putting together a grand reopening celebration. You're invited to the party! Stay tuned for the official date and plan. Thanks to WAIM and everyone who worked hard putting this together, it's been hard work but also a lot of fun.

Future Possibilities

Access Agency recently put out a call for proposals for another round of grants. In the spirit of WindhamARTS' mission to support the arts and culture in our region, and in support of the whole gang of us in the building as of April 1st, I submitted my own Letter of Intent outlining my hope to see this space become a permanent center for arts and creative community development in downtown Willimantic. My goal is to maintain and grow this venture as an affordable incubator-style community art and creative business center for the entire region. Do you want to be part of bringing this vision into reality? Have a vision of your own that you'd like to see be part of it? I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Latest and the Greatest

Hello all, here’s your latest WACtacular. Post your comments below:

  • A proposal has been sent to Victoria Nimirowski, director of WAIM for shared rental of the space currently occupied by WindhamARTS alone.
  • Victoria and I spoke about this proposal. She is very enthusiastic, is bringing the proposal to committee, and will hopefully have an answer very soon.
  • WindhamARTS, Swiftwater Artisans, the Coop-Hub, and individual artists have participated in the discussion. Other dynamic individuals and organizations involved in the arts and culture of our region are entering the mix.
  • We are proposing to begin this rental agreement April 1st.
  • If you’re interested in getting involved, in renting studio space or shared office space, email me – amy at – and I’ll give you the details.
  • Stay tuned for new life for the arts at 866 Main!


  • We’re waiting on news of a grant from CEDF
  • This funding would allow WAC to regroup with professional guidance, help the Board of Directors analyze their roles, goals, and functionality, rebuild the web site to best serve the arts & cultural community, and solicit and make a plan for how to move forward into a bright and vibrant future.
  • We should hear the (hopefully good) news any day now. Again, stay tuned – you’ll hear it here first folks!


  • People are asking about renewing membership. (All memberships were up for renewal in January, but no membership drive was undertaken at that time.)
  • Without staff and with the space question up in the air, it is difficult to guarantee the old membership benefits, hence the delay.
  • Membership fee/benefits structure is up for discussion and may change. One proposal is to raise the cost of membership, one is to eliminate it altogether. There are all kinds of possibilities in between and much to take into consideration about how best to serve the arts community. In any case, good things are happening and we want you to be a part of it.
  • In the meantime, consider offering a Vote of Confidence by making a donation to WindhamARTS. We’ll keep track of your donations, and, if/when dues are once again solicited, credit your contributions accordingly.
  • You can donate via Paypal (by pressing the donate button here) or send us a check made out to WindhamARTS Collaborative and mail it to: WindhamARTS Collaborative, P.O. Box 472, Willimantic, CT 06226. Either way, we welcome your comments!
  • On a personal note: Thank you to those who have already stepped forward with donations. I take these as a personal compliment, a vote of confidence and support for all the volunteer efforts and hopeful visions for the arts in our region that are being carried forward by me and other long-time supporters of WindhamARTS. If financial support isn't possible for you right now, your ideas, visions, hopes, and pats on the back of are also very welcome and appreciated.

Yours truly,

Amy K

Friday, March 12, 2010

New Life for 866 Main?

This past Wednesday, March 10th, a follow-up meeting to the "Community Arts Center Summit" was held at WindhamARTS. With input by individual studio artists and others, representatives from WindhamARTS, SWAC, and the Coop-Hub drew up a proposal to together rent the space that until recently was leased from WAIM by WindhamARTS alone. 

Another meeting will be held this coming Wednesday, March 17th at 6pm to follow up and tackle some of the unresolved details. WAIM has been contacted; we are awaiting their response. I think it's safe to say there is excitement in the air. An email I received from one of Wednesday's meeting attendees began with, and this is an exact quote: 
I will, of course, keep you posted.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Board Meeting Report

The WindhamARTS Board of Directors met last night, Wednesday, March 3rd. Karl Norton, Kim Radda, Paula McNally, and Maureen Crowley were present, as was I, Amy Kalisher, at Kim Radda's request, reporting on what's happening with the 866 Main Street building and the exploration into collaborative rental. 

Discussion included:
  • Open positions on the Board of Directors, including that of Treasurer, plans to pursue filling these positions.
  • My offer to manage the building on behalf of WindhamARTS in exchange for studio space, if a rental agreement can be reached.
  • Kim will pursue legal advice for next steps toward potentially taking me up on this offer - making appropriate lease agreements, the proper way to go about hiring/appointing a Building Coordinator, and other questions about next steps as an organization in transition - for instance, how to go about creating a place for member representation on the Board.
  • The Board did officially okay me to represent them in discussions with WAIM and potential rental collaborators, and to include two of our three computers as part of the office-sharing offering. 
  • Agreement to work toward freeing Peter Polomski from the directorial responsibilities he continues to bear because no one has yet to take his place. (Mostly this has to do with bookkeeping. Since there is no staff now, this mainly consists of building management.)
  • Questions about the meaning, benefits, and responsibilities of membership at WindhamARTS and how to involve current, past, and possible-future members in the discussion - stay tuned for more on this soon.
  • Transitional planning - next steps toward securing an appropriate Peer Advisor for an eight-hour consultation (a $100 expense).
  • Evil schemes to take over the world.
Wait -- WHAT??? Not that last one.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Meetings Galore

The WindhamARTS Board of Directors will convene Wednesday, March 3rd. There is no plan for a member meeting that night.

There will be an open meeting to further discuss the potential of shared space on the following Wednesday, March 10th at 6pm at WindhamARTS. All are welcome.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Summit and Beyond

For those just tuning in, WindhamARTS hosted a meeting on Friday afternoon, 2/26, to explore the potential of sharing space for arts and cultural organizations in our region. Representatives and members of WindhamARTS, Swiftwater Artistan Cooperative, The Co-op Hub, Wrench in the Works, WAMH, the Young Poets, Artists Open Studios, Artists in the Country, Whispering River Gallery, EastCONN, UCONN Public and Community Engagement, Willimantic Advocates Make it Happen (WAMH), Cafemantic, and individual artists and community members were present, as well as Roger Adams from the Windham Chamber of Commerce and Neal Beets, Windham Town Manager.

We discussed the needs and resources of each group, reviewed what we know about space available, and explored the potential and challenges of sharing a location. Several groups acknowledged a current or upcoming need for retail, gallery, performance, meeting, and/or office space. These groups also expressed interest in further discussion about collaborative space. Each will gather details about their current resources, and the desires and concerns of their constituencies. A second meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 10th at 6 PM at WindhamARTS. (This will replace the regularly scheduled WAC member meeting for that week and is again open to the community. Feel free to spread the word).

Bottom line: it seems clear that there is real potential for collaboration, and that the group that meets next week will likely work toward a proposal to lease 866 Main Street. Please click "comments" below to read and post questions, additions, ideas, and corrections. Your perspective is valued.

PS. A note from Amy: I had intended to bullet-point a list of important information coming from the meeting, but, to be frank, time is short and I'd rather spend it scheduling meetings in order to move forward with this idea. If there is something you feel is important to share, please post it in the comments section below.

Friday, February 26, 2010


Thanks to all who came out for this evening's Summit, it was great to see so many faces, and so much commitment to the vitality, diversity, and potential of our area. Very inspiring! I will work to get a comprehensive update about the meeting posted here by the end of the weekend. In the meantime, please click on "Comments" directly below this paragraph to post any thoughts, questions, requests, additions, etcetera. Also, put it on your calendar: We meet again, same place, different time: Wednesday, March 10th at 6 PM.


Poetry Slam at WindhamARTS scheduled for 6 PM tonight is CANCELLED due to weather concerns for this evening. 

This afternoon's Community Arts Center Summit at 4 PM is NOT CANCELLED. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Report: This Wednesday's Meeting

Another four-parter, check out item #3 for breaking news:

1. Board co-chair Kim Radda and I (Amy Kalisher) reported on our meeting with John Cusano: 
The good news: we are on track to receive LAA funding from the state for the upcoming fiscal year. Hard work ahead to be in shape to reapply the following year, with passionate support from those who fund us. More on this in the previous post. (See item 2. Transition Planning.)

2. Kim reported on her meeting with Greg Lewis and Alta Lash of the CEDF: 
Potential good news: We should receive a response from them within a month's time regarding an outstanding grant application for $20,000. This would not be money to be used for operating expenses, but for advising, mentoring and assistance with organizational planning, grant writing, marketing and fund-raising, as well as web site overhaul.

3. Discussion about space: where we'll be after February 28th:
BREAKING NEWS: Camp Horizons has withdrawn from negotiations with WAIM about renting the 866 Main Street space, deciding that the modifications of the space necessary to meet their clients' needs do not fit their budget at this time. No decision was made regarding WAC's presence in the building. More on this after Friday's meeting.

4. Planning for the Community Art Center Summit:
(1) Brainstorming to make sure we've invited everyone relevant. Feel free to spread the word!  
(2) Reviewing an agenda proposed by Jean deSmet and I (with input from Erbin Crowell of the Cooperative Fund of New England). The hope is to foster discussion & collaboration between organizations exploring the potential of sharing space, in whatever form works best for everyone involved. Erbin will be with us to lend support in this discussion.

Next WIndhamARTS meeting: Wednesday, March 3rd, 6 PM

Friday, February 19, 2010

Four Things

Greeting WAColytes, WACmongers, friends, and passersby. Here's your friendly neighborhood update on all things WAC, in four part harmony.

1. The Community Arts Center Summit : 4PM Friday, February 26th
WindhamARTS is inviting all arts and culture organizations in our area that desire office, presentation, studio, performance, and/or meeting space to come to The Community Arts Center Summit at 866 Main Street in downtown Willimantic, at 4pm Friday, February 26th to discuss the potential of shared space. There is exciting potential for collaboration, plus the benefit of shared overhead (printers, copier, insurance, utilities, etcetera). WAIM , SWAC , Horizons , and the Wrench are being contacted, as well as member organizations of WindhamARTS, but any individual or group in our region who feels they belong at the table are encouraged to introduce yourselves and to know that you are welcome. Contact WindhamARTS by leaving a message at 860-450-1794 or via email at The meeting will be facilitated by Erbin Crowell of the Cooperative Fund of New England.

This plan comes out of Wednesday's meeting (2/17) where discussion focused entirely on the question of space, namely, do we accept the town's offer of office space? Those present agreed, we may want to say yes to the town's offer of office space, but we aren't ready to give up on 866 Main Street as a multifaceted center for arts in our community.

2. Transition Planning
Last night (2/18) John Cusano of the CCT met with Board co-chairs Kim Radda and Karl Norton, and yours truly (Amy Kalisher) to discuss the transition WIndhamARTS is undergoing and how we can begin to tackle big questions about the structure of our organization and how we can best support the arts in our community. Some good news: Our recent crisis does not jeopardize grant funding for the coming fiscal year. Consensus was clear: transitional planning needs to happen, the sooner the better. We will have help and guidance from John and the Peer Advisory Network.

3. Taking Care of Business: Career Strategies for Visual Artists
Have you heard about this statewide workshop series? It's $20/workshop (there are three) and it includes lunch. Excellent speakers flying in from all over. Check out the flyer, go ahead and register for a workshop. Anybody want to go? Want some company? Comment below, maybe there's a group who'd like to go together!
Career Planning: Saturday March 6th
Business Strategies: April 10th
Marketing and Promotion: May 1st

4. Romantic Willimantic
In case you didn't make it downtown last Saturday: with four vendors in our galleries and lots of foot traffic downtown, it appears that the Romantic Willimantic Chocolate Festival was again a big success. Big thanks to Lynn Duval and all who worked hard to make this event happen.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

What's up with WindhamARTS?

Good question!

There will be much more to share after Wednesday's meeting (February 17th, 6pm, upstairs at WindhamARTS), but in the meantime, a couple of updates gathered by me, Amy Kalisher, your friendly neighborhood communications volunteer...

About our space on Main Street: Kim Radda (board Chair) and Nat Brown (most recent board Treasurer) met with representatives of WAIM and Horizon, another local nonprofit, this past Thursday, February 11th. Nat sent me a brief update from the road (he's been traveling this week), with promises to elaborate ASAP. Here is the nuts and bolts of our communication thus far:

NAT: The REALLY short version is that Horizons is interested in the space but needs to decide if it can make it work. WAIM has had the market rental assessed and would like to receive more rent because it needs to make repairs - such as fixing the heat in the downstairs galleries. Current artists should expect that they could stay, even if Horizon comes in. But there are nuances that my poor thumbs on my [Blackberry] can't sustain. Probably more questions raised than answers.
AMY: When you have time, the burning question for me is: how much is WAIM hoping to get for the entire space (or how much is Horizons offering, and for what parts?)
NAT: WAIM is starting at 800 for the first floor. The bigger issue is that Horizon - if it decides it likes the space - is able to rent the whole thing and make improvements too.

Programs and daily operations: As we transition to an organization run entirely by volunteers, we need to be very clear about obligations we have to fulfill regarding grants we've received and our intentions and abilities regarding sustaining our status as a state-designated Local Arts Agency. As things stand, this is important both in terms of fulfilling our mission as an organization and because the state helps supports us financially in doing so. On that front, here's a tidbit from an email from Kim Radda:

KIM: We are an LAA and have been funded as such through this year and, hopefully next as the grant we submitted was for 2-year funding. I am in touch with John Cusano, the LAA director at the Commission on Culture and Tourism, and someone who knows WAC well and is very supportive of us as an organization, and of the transitions/changes we are going through. I'll be meeting with him next week and will talk with him about expectations and responsibilities re: WAC, as we work through these next several months of planning, restructuring, reorganizing. He continues to offer to come to Willimantic and meet with our group. He has a tremendous amount of experience and a lot that he can offer.

As I see it, there's a lot of exciting work ahead of us. What happens next — priorities, vision, strategic planning — is entirely up to us. All of us. Come to the meetings, it would be great to see you there, and, speaking personally, I'd love to meet more people who are passionate, or even simply curious, about this process! Share your ideas, hopes, questions by clicking on "comments" below this post.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Romantic Willimantic Chocolate Festival

Just a reminder to everyone that WAC is on the "Downtown Stroll" as part of the Romantic Willimantic Chocolate Festival, 11-3 on Saturday. C'mon down!

Tom Salter graciously placed some artwork in the front galleries to provide atmosphere.

There will be food for sampling from the University Club (the golf course), and perhaps vegan samples, and perhaps another food vendor.

Donnelly/Colt will be vending Fair Trade Chocolate and chocolate baskets (this makes Valentine's Day shopping a breeze!) and other goods.

I'll bring a chocolate fondue pot, with some fruit and cookies for dipping. I'll also be staffing a table with Romantic Willimantic T Shirts for sale. They are a reprint of the 1980's shirt that was well beloved.

Those are all the confirmed people, so far.

The butterfly making project won't happen this time, but Amy, Bette and other members have expressed a desire to do more "community" art, so I'm sure we'll do more in the near future, and perhaps work together with the Temple on the butterfly project.

Feel free to come up with a creative interactive activity for Saturday if the spirit moves you. About 4-500 people wander thru the stores, looking for food and fun.

Or if someone else would like to sell, there is still room on the first floor. Let me know, just so we don't overbook. Jean 456-2188,

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Meeting Canceled

The WindhamArts meeting that was scheduled for Wednesday Feb. 10, 2010 Has been canceled due to the impending snow storm. We will see you next week Wednesday Feb. 17th at 6:00 at WindhamArts. Paula McNally

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Check it Out

The Overview: the latest meeting update

The Nuts and Bolts: the latest meeting minutes

What's happening next? Learn more at our meeting Wednesday night, Feb 10, 6 pm, or tune in here for the next update.

Join the discussion below. You can comment below any post on the blog (just look below any blog entry and click on the word "COMMENTS."Currently there is a thriving discussion here.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Bill Dougal Concert at Windhamarts Feb. 28th

Novelty Songs For Young And Old

Sunday, Feb 28 at 1pm

Bill Dougal presents a concert of his original songs for kids, as well as novelty tunes from the 1920’s-40’s. This makes it an ideal show for kids and their grandparents, or anyone that likes fun songs. This fundraiser for Windhamarts should be useful in maintaining the cultural space on Main Street Willimantic, across from the library.

Bill writes about subjects that have humorous possibilities; walking a duck, keeping a burro in a bureau, playing checkers on a giraffe, jellyfish and peanutbutter fish (they go well with jellyfish).

The songs in this show are picked from Bill’s three musical acts for kids; “Fun Songs From Bill’s Hat”, “Cowboy Billy”, and “Fish Song Fun”. Find audio and video samples of Bill’s songs at .

Bill will also do a Shel Silverstein song. Bill’s material is ideal for ages 5-10, but anyone should get a kick out of them. Folks of all ages may also enjoy the rest of the repertoire, which is chosen from tin-pan alley tunes from the good old days. Titles include; “Digga Digga Doo”, “Ma, She’s Makin’ Eyes at Me”, and a Homer & Jethro parody of Heartbreak hotel” called “Hard Break Motel”.
Jumbo cartoon illustrations by Bill accompany many songs. Guests can also buy their caricature during or after this event.
Admission; $5 per person at door. Contact 456-9041

Meeting Minutes 2/3/10

Windhamarts Meeting
February 3, 2010, 6:00pm

Present: Kim Radda, Tom Salter, Amy Kalisher, Bette McDonald, Jean de Smet, Bill Dougal, Sara Bodlak, David Bodlak, Lynn Duvall, Shirlee Sheathelm, Carla Kelley, Susan Johnson, Nat Brown

The meeting was started by reading the article that appeared in the Chronicle regarding Windhamarts future, and the offer from the town of office space, phone, and a place to show work, on a temporary basis. There were mixed feelings about the article.

Kim expressed thanks for all of the members and friends who have come forward offering time and assistance.


  • • Offer from the town of office space.
  • • The Windhamarts, WAIM and Camp Horizons meeting about sharing the space has been postponed until after our next meeting.
  • • Other possibilities discussed were the availability/suitability of other places such as the Nassiff Building, the Pulaski Building, Eastconn and Artspace
  • • What we are, do, and how we are perceived by the community, may change as we make this transition. There were also mixed feelings about the changes this transition may bring.

Office coverage:
  • • Amy, Jean, and Sarah have been busy answering phones and taking care of emails and communications.


  • o Tom offered to enter information to the website, remotely from his home. Jean will contact Steve about a password so Tom can do this.

  • • Member emails have been exported, these emails need to be checked against the membership list
  • • There is concern that some people that we thought were getting emails are not getting Windhamarts emails.
  • • Our email list is very large. We should somehow check to see if all still want to get out emails.

  • Nat checked into Google phone a free service to have WindhamArts phone calls and voicemails forwarded to a person who would be willing to take on this job. Our phone service must include a call-forwarding feature to take advantage of this.

• Discussion about taking on the task of restructuring membership

  • • Account balance $885.00
  • • 2 studio artist’s rents are due
  • • We have received $300.00 in donations
  • • It was suggested that we pay March’s rent. It was decided to table that decision until the next meeting.
  • • Feb Rent has been paid.

Fundraising/Community Events:

• Bill Dougal
  • o Offered to put on a concert as a fundraiser for WindhamArts, on February 28th at 1:00pm, featuring Children’s songs and Novelty songs. $5 admission
  • o Could the Recreation department help to get the information out to the schools??
  • o Susan Johnson will promote this concert on her show Let’s Talk About It
Chocolate Festival
  • o Amy will try to get her Chocolate themed Posters printed for the festival
  • o Tom will show his work, Sara will help
  • o Windhamarts will offer vender space for $25
  • o We need WindhamArts members to step forward to help staff this.
  • o We will collaborate with the Temple B’Nai on a butterfly making project in memory of the holocaust

• Marketing/Publicity
  • o The chamber of commerce is sponsoring a home show on Feb 20th. in the Mall
  • o Bill Dougal offered to man a membership table
  • Other Topics;
  • o We need to start to divide our efforts into two branches, one dealing with the day to day operations, and another to do visioning
  • o We might entertain the idea to use A PAN advisor to facilitate discussions about transitional planning.
  • o Invite John Cusano to a meeting
  • o Interview on Homefront should not focus on the negative, (another non profit in trouble), but should talk about new possibilities.

Task List:
  • o Shirlee and Tom will check out Artspace
  • o Carla will look into getting interns
  • o Amy and Lynn will talk to Kim Silcox from the Center for Community Engagement (ECSU). They have students learning about Non profits and Graphic arts.
  • o Amy will work on a poll feature on the blog
  • o Kim will continue discussions with Neal Beets concerning space
  • o Tom has offered to work on updating the web
  • o Nat will continue looking into Google Voice options
  • o Sara and Tom will put up some art in the Gallery
  • o Jean and Amy will prepare communications to be sent out about recent Windhamarts news and the Chocolate Festival
  • o Amy will talk to Rabbi Jeremy about the butterflies
  • o Bill will man the Home show and share member info.

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday February 10th, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Latest

Another weekly meeting was held last night (2/3/10) at WindhamARTS. 

Next meeting: Wednesday, February 10 at 6 pm, upstairs at WindhamARTS, 866 Main Street, downtown Willimantic

Up and Coming:

The Romantic Willimantic Chocolate Fest is Feb 13th, and WindhamArts is one of the spaces listed on the stroll (500+ come downtown, and go to a wide variety of stores who are giving away free chocolate, or having activities). We will appeal to crafters who might want to vend in the gallery for $25 a space. Tom Salter will show his art works.  We hope to work with the Temple B’nai on a butterfly making project in memory of the holocaust, as well as hosting some chocolate vendors—truffles, vegan, samples.

About our space at 866 Main Street:
  • February rent is paid!
  • We have enough in the bank to pay both rent and utilities through March.
  • However, we don't have a lease as we are not yet stable enough financially to sign one.
  • THIS JUST IN: WAIM (our landlord) is actively seeking a new tenant, and will likely use the opportunity to seek a higher rent. We may not have a choice in whether we stay or leave. 
  • WAIM has assured us that artists renting studios WILL NOT lose their spaces. 
  • We can continue to function as an LAA and a licensed non-profit whether we have a space or not.
  • While the short-term is up in the air, discussion has begun among members about our long-term goals and priorities for space: what do we want and need in terms of office, studio, performance, and gallery space? We continue to hear from members and the community that our presence on Main Street is highly valued. What do YOU think? Comment below. 
  • It was suggested we bring in a consultant to help with short term strategic planning.

Next steps:
  • We could approach ArtSpace, Pouya Printing, Nassiff’s, and other buildings to rent space. (Volunteers have stepped forward to look into some of these possibilities.)
  • On the agenda for next week's meeting: creating new membership categories in order to encourage community participation, planning for a membership drive
  • On the agenda for as soon as possible: restructuring our organization including redefining the role of the board, creating a member forum
  • People are stepping forward: Nat Brown is setting up call-forwardingfor our office phone, Bill Dougal has offered to stage a fundraising performance, Lynn Duval will help him with publicity, Tom Salter volunteered to update our website , various members are looking into potential relationships with local schools and other organizations, Paula McNally is disseminating email and compiling an archive of meeting minutes, to be posted online.

What you can do:
  • Offer to help in whatever capacity you can (stay tuned for more specifics - we are putting together a wish list/work list of work to be done.) Call 860-450-1794, comment below, or drop us an email.
  • Come to meetings, the more the merrier.
  • Write letters to the editor to counter the notion the Chronicle keeps printing, that WindhamArts is dead - we will survive, our shape is changing
  • Donate to the cause, every little bit helps right now.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

WindhamArts email

The update posted below/here was emailed to the membership yesterday (Monday 2/1) afternoon. There are reports that not all members are receiving WindhamArts email. Are you one of those people? Do you know anyone who might be one of those people? If so, please email me and I'll see if I can get to the bottom of this. Thanks!

Monday, February 1, 2010


Thanks, Amy, for setting this up for us.

We'll be inviting people to join this blog on behalf of WAAC, but we each need to encourage our friends to join, or it won't work.

Pat, Sara, and others had thoughts to share, but not all of us were getting all of the emails. So, please start us off by posting here?

Again, gracias, Amy!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Update: WindhamARTS

Dear Members, Things are happening fast, we're working on getting communications out, and opening communication between members. Click "comments" below this post to add your thoughts, questions, ideas, etcetera.

Here’s what we know right now:

• we’re alive!! and will continue to serve the local arts community as a state-designated tier one Local Arts Agency

• all debts are paid, and rent will be paid through February, at least!

• WAIM wants us to stay in the building, and we want to stay! We are seeing a great deal of support for keeping our presence downtown, both inside our organization and in the community

• many have expressed a strong feeling that the newly renovated performance space upstairs should continue to be supported

• we are transitioning back to a volunteer-run organization, the original WAC format.

• members: this is OUR organization, and our chance to shape it. The board is there to support us in doing so, and there are openings for board members. • members and friends have stepped forward to take on the work, but there is a lot to do. The more the merrier! Contact us through

• come to meetings upstairs at WindhamArts every Wednesday night at 6pm, through February, as we figure out what’s next for us. These meetings are open to all of us, so bring your ideas, energy, and enthusiasm! We’ll do our best to finish by 7:30.

• while we are above water financially, we are looking into creative solutions to keep our expenses down and/or covered – there is talk about renting the storefront to Swiftwaters Artisan Coop or artists, for instance

• we have studio space available for rent!

• more updates to come ~

- written by members Amy Kalisher, Jean de Smet, your friendly member communication liaison team!