Nonprofit Profile: Medford Arts Center is keeping arts flourishing while transitioning online

By ROI-NJ Staff
Medford | Jul 13, 2020 at 11:55 am
Nonprofit Profile

In brief

Location: 8N. Main St., Medford
Serving: All aspects of the arts community locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
Key members: Jeff Lucas, president of the board; Michael Horner, vice president of the board; Beth Beck, secretary, music director; Linda Chamberlain, treasurer; Lesha Moore, executive director.

Origin

The Medford Arts Center was founded in 1999 by the Friends of the Arts Committee in Medford.

Mission

Our mission is to create an environment where the arts flourish through education, evolution and empowerment.

Goals

Looking to the year ahead, we are continuing to build our online programs while still serving the needs of our local community with in-person programming that meets all required safety guidelines. This plan will enable us to be prepared for any potential closures due to COVID-19.

We will continue to build upon our online art exhibitions as we 

invite featured local and regional artists to our brick-and-mortar gallery with bodies of work that speak of social, cultural and other issues that inspire our community. 

We will broaden our online education offering while providing safe in-person classes when we can. One focus will be to bring a more individualized online education experience and adding a monthly fee-based program that can be accessed from anywhere. 

Our online Gift Boutique was one of our bigger challenges to put into place in a volunteer environment. We are poised to continue to grow the online boutique.

Provide scholarships for low- and moderate-income families and low- and moderate-income seniors.

Programs

Educational classes and workshops; exhibitions; children’s programs; music programs and concerts from 20 to 800 people; poetry; artist networking; advocating for the arts; veterans programs; gift boutique.

Achievements

Growing our reach to artists and students by over 60% in two years. Taking our art exhibitions from a local/regional to international by bring the exhibitions online. Providing art education from nationally recognized educators as well as some of the most well-known regional educators. Programs serving our community at no cost to the participants. Providing artisans who hand-craft art, jewelry, fabric arts, glass and ceramics a place to share and sell their work through the artist-run gift boutique.

Our most recent achievement since our forced closure in March of this year due to COVID-19 was to successfully move our business model to an online format. We were able to rapidly do this and keep pace with our peers who had access to more staff and resources. We are particularly proud of this achievement.

Fundraising

Annual membership; private donations; sale of donated art items; corporate sponsorship; government grants; annual Main Street Art Wine and Music event; new online events.

Benefactors

Private donors, as well as:

  • Jeff & Libby Lucas;
  • Rose Commercial Real Estate;
  • Michaels Development Co.;
  • Sir Speedy;
  • The O’Donnell Family Fund;
  • Morgan Law;
  • Midwest Construction Inc.;
  • Marathon Engineering and Environmental Services;
  • Ameriprise Financial;
  • Environmental Resolutions Inc.;
  • Holman Enterprises;
  • Stout & Caldwell Engineers LLC;
  • Morgan Law LLC;
  • Republic Bank;
  • Ginger Restaurant;
  • Boomerang;
  • Harriet’s Energy Solutions;
  • Jeffrey M. King Architect LLC;
  • Davis Enterprises;
  • Grace Construction;
  • Burlington VW;
  • Twilight Blue Photography;
  • Foundation Title;
  • Mt. Olive Family Worship Center;
  • Bob Meyer Communities;
  • Village of Taunton Forge;
  • Payton Press;
  • United Communities.

Finally

We believe the arts are the foundation for shaping societies and are critical to education and learning. Historically, art preserves what documents and records cannot, it expresses what life felt like. We will continue to create an environment where the arts flourish through education, evolution and empowerment.

Conversation Starter

For more information, please contact Lesha Moore, executive director, at: lesha.moore@medfordarts.com or Jeff Lucas, president of the board, at: jeffreylucas@me.com.

ROI-NJ Staff | editorial@roi-nj.com | @roinjnews