Columbia County Arts Inc. officials reviewed a successful year and discussed big plans for the upcoming year at the group's annual meeting Monday at Brandon Wilde.
"This has been a busy year and we got a lot done," said Sandy Partridge, the group's outgoing president.
Columbia County Arts is a volunteer community organization with the goal of assisting and promoting the artists and arts organizations in Columbia County for the education, inspiration and enjoyment of its citizens. It was formed in March 2000 and now represents Columbia County Ballet, Stage III Ltd., and the county's choral society, artists guild and literary artist guild.
Partridge said the 2006-07 year brought with it a successful second annual Art in the Park event, which included a juried art show. The past year also was marked by the awarding of two $2,510 member grants to the Columbia County Society and the Columbia County Ballet.
"That is something that is very important for CCA (Columbia County Arts) to give support, not just with advertisements, but also monetary support to help out ... in order to entertain and give performances to our community," Partridge said.
One-quarter of all undesignated income goes to the grant fund to directly support local arts organizations.
Partridge said the arts group's board has decided to form a Business Development Committee to get the business community involved in the arts. Additional funding through business partnerships would provide high quality arts and would facilitate bringing bigger performances to the county, she said.
Ron Jones, a former arts group president and the president for the upcoming year, said things have changed during the two years since he was president, when the group was young.
"The biggest difference that I see right now is getting the business community involved, where the arts are going to be funded by the business community as an investments into the quality of life because art does bring quality of life," Jones said. "We can actually provide something bigger than what our purses can put together."
Because group is growing, Partridge said, the board members began work toward hiring an executive director.
Other big plans are to turn Art in the Park, held in May, into Art Splash, which will include three weeks of arts events. The event is still in the planning stages. Partridge will be a member of the group's newly formed Past Presidents Advisory Council.
"This would help us keep with the original vision of what CCA is all about," she said.
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