“Art is not a privilege” Art is not elitist. ‘Art is the soul of our civilization; the beating heart of our humanity; a miracle to which we should bear witness over and over again.” Ford Foundation President, Darren Walker, Arts Action News.
It is thanks to you and your friends and colleagues that the Floyd Center for the Arts is re-emerging from what we hope is the worst of the Covid pandemic. To continue on our path forward and stronger, we need your support. As we are all aware, the pandemic forced many non-profit art organizations to close and/or rethink how they did their work. The Center’s Board and friends have pledged $25,000 if we can match their challenge. This means your gift to the Art Center will be doubled. Your support is critical to our success and our moving forward providing a creative culture and a gathering place for artists, students and patrons of the arts.
The pandemic affected every aspect of our programming and programming income. In 2021, we resumed offering classes for adults, but reduced the number of students in order to socially distance. This has meant lower class revenue and lower payments to artist instructors (instructor pay is based on number of students taught). The classes barely meet expenses as we increased the percentage of revenue paid to instructors per student.
In-person children's programming has not been resumed. We have offered Kid's Art To Go packages of materials to complete an art project at home, but both parents and children have indicated that they miss the in-person experience with an instructor. We conducted our free outdoor Halloween event (Halloween Kidsfest) for children this past weekend. Over 250 children and parents attended.
Gallery exhibits were posted online in 2020. We continued these virtual tours in 2021 and only resumed gallery opening receptions in mid-year 2021 (masks required with or without vaccination).
Our classical music concert series has been on hiatus since 2020. We do have a holiday concert planned for December 11th, in partnership with the Blue Ridge Music Festival with a reduced number of tickets to be sold in order to seat socially distanced. Masks will be required.
Our annual events have also been on hiatus. The only annual event in 2021 will be Winterfest and Festival of Trees in December Winterfest is a major source of revenue for our artist participants, not the Center. We continue to monitor Covid cases in our area and may need to make changes in how this event happens this year. We already have reduced the number of vendor spaces in order to keep more distance between booths.
Other annual events that have not happened in 2021 include Mayfaire and the Artisan Trail. The House & Garden Tour, which is a big fundraiser for the Center, was cancelled in both 2020 and 2021. Plans to resume the tour in June, 2022 are in process.
Your investments in the Floyd Center for the Arts over the years have made a difference to your neighbors, friends and the Floyd community. Thank you. So much of what we do is a direct result of your support. I ask you today, please continue your steadfast support and help us meet our $25,000 challenge.