I think the Yarmouth Regional Arts Council should be supporting the building of a new arts and cultural centre at the downtown location to allow it to better fulfill its mission of "The Enrichment of ALL through the Arts," which it is unable to do at present.
One of the main impediments to the council doing this is owning and maintaining Th'YARC building on Parade Street. I have found that Th'YARC and the Yarmouth Arts Regional Council are often confused entities. Th'YARC is a building on Parade Street in which events take place. The Yarmouth Arts Regional Council is an association charged with representing and promoting all of the arts interests in our region. It happens to own and manage Th'ARC.
A short list of who the arts council should be representing includes painters, print makers, photographers, actors, dancers, sculptors, carvers, story tellers, writers, musicians, jewelers, fashion designers and other creative individuals and groups. It is not doing this. It does not need a building to do this.
In my opinion, the arts council should:
1) Maintain a web site listing all individual artistically creative people and organizations for immediate public access and recognition.
2) Be active on social and print media in support of arts.
3) Be in a position to assist individuals and groups in promotion of their interests.
4) Provide assistance to individuals and groups in applying for grant funds. 5) Provide grants for projects.
6) Have an arts scholarship endowment for students.
7) Have an artistic director with a broad understanding of approaches to promoting all of the arts in our region. This list can be expanded. But, it does not include owning and managing a facility.
I think an arts council is an important component of a new facility, should have prominent office space there and should maintain its provincial and other funding commensurate with its expanded and reconfigured arts community support.
Many of us in the arts and culture community are enthusiastic and supportive of the new complex. It centers on the AGNS as an anchor, brings a new place of public activity to downtown, encourages spin-off development such as shops and restaurants, provides a world-class architectural component to Yarmouth (no small matter), provides space for all of your interest groups, and gets you out of the ownership and management distractions.
I hope the Yarmouth Regional Arts Council will join with us as a supportive organization at the next stakeholder meeting to review the latest proposal.
Dan Earle, local artist
Chebogue Point Road, Yarmouth