ARTS CENTRAL TO CLOSE AFTER NEARLY 40 YEARS OF SERVICE
BEND, August 19, 2016 – Arts Central, the umbrella non-profit organization for Art Station, VanGo and Artists in Schools programs, will close after nearly 40 years of providing arts education and advocacy services in Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties.
All Arts Station programming will close effective Friday, August 19, The Board of Directors made the decision after continued attempts to reduce operating costs and increase funding.
“Although programming revenue has rebounded to pre-recession levels, unfortunately, it is not sufficient to continue to support the organization,” said Bert Kronmiller, Board President. “This was a difficult decision for all of us. We love our patrons, teachers and other supporters, but the current environment is not sustainable.”
The Art Station receives revenue from program enrollment. Deborah Allen, Interim Executive Director, has increased the revenue from enrollment over the last four years. Despite this increase, the Art Station relies heavily on public funding, including individual contribution, sponsorships and grants to subsidize operating costs. The availability of this public funding has decreased over the last several years.
“Deborah has done an excellent job working with the board and others to raise funding in a difficult environment. Despite our exemplary work, we have found incoming donations and grant awards to be less than anticipated,” said Kronmiller. “We have also had incredible support from others in the neighborhood, including William Smith Properties, who has subsidized the current property lease the last several years.”
The lease for the current location will expire in 2017, requiring a new location for Art Station. Equipment and supplies will be liquidated to help cover closure and other expenses.
“The Art Station has been a second home for our family as a place to make new friends and find unique, creative and educational activities for my children,” said Heather Daines, local parent and patron.
Arts Central has been a part of the community for almost 40 years and had previously closed satellite locations to reduce costs and streamline operating procedures.
“Many lives have been touched over the years, including my own, by this organization,” said Cindy Briggs, Board Member and Art Instructor, “The Art Station has been an engaging, creative environment for many children, adults and families and we thank all of our patrons, sponsors and donors who have supported us over the years.”