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.


  1. Victoria NimirowskiFebruary 9, 2010 at 7:26 AM

    Though WAIM is actively seeking a tenant, it should also be noted that WAIM is coordinating conversations between potential tenants and representatives from the Arts Collaborative. The Collaborative and WAIM have had a good relationship over the years, and we are doing whatever we can to help them maintain a presence on Main Street while protecting the interests of our donors and those we serve.

  2. Thanks for clarifying, Victoria, we appreciate the support! There has been some discussion on this point attached to the first post (here: ) PS. Last we heard a meeting was in the works for this week with representatives of WAIM, WAC, and another or other potential tennant(s), has that meeting taken place or has it been scheduled?

  3. What is the latest word from WAIM on all of this? I hope we will be hearing something more definitive, soon.

  4. Hi Sara (and everyone) check the most recent post on the blog (click on the "WindhamARTS" title from this page) in order to read the most recent scoop. Just posted it moments ago...