BY KIRSTEN BOLTON
Do you have early photos of ArtSpring construction? A program from a community or school production? Posters promoting a favourite visiting artist? Old seasons’ brochures? Pictures of gallery events or board meetings? Ticket stubs? ArtSpring says this is the opportunity to be a part of a celebratory collage of milestones and memories.
In preparing its 25th anniversary plans, ArtSpring, and its newly formed self-named Roundtable Community Committee, is inviting Salt Springers to be part of the story by digging through personal archives and sharing mementos that celebrate the arts, community and history of ArtSpring.
An open house is planned for Sunday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to noon to receive visual items such as personal photos, news clippings, advertising, even architectural drawings from throughout the years. These contributions will help comprise the source material for an interpretive archival lobby display that will be debuted during ArtSpring’s official 25th anniversary month of April 2024.
Local photographer and artist Seth Berkowitz has been engaged to create the retrospective exhibition and will be on-site on Sunday to receive materials and learn about the details, stories, and context of the submissions. Some items he will be able to scan on-site, while others will need to go back to his studio for larger-scale processing.
Contributors are asked to place items in an envelope with contact information, dates and personal notes, and whether the items need to be returned. Large envelopes will be at the open house if needed. Items and envelopes will also be accepted at the box office during regular box office hours Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Also on Sunday, several members of ArtSpring’s new Roundtable Community Committee will be there to assist, engage and offer a short survey that invites attendees to recall favourite ArtSpring moments, favourite performances, and to ask what events people would like to see moving forward.
This type of discussion is part of the committee’s mission, which is to hold open roundtable meetings and discussion groups about ways ArtSpring can be of service to, and partner with, members of the local arts and greater community.
“In particular, this initiative is meant to explore more grassroots-led public programming, which is is an exciting new directive coming from our strategic plan this season,” said Howard Jang, executive and artistic director. “We are looking to pilot well-conceived concepts that can enrich, develop and spark the community’s interests, skills sets, and knowledge through such things as workshops, masterclasses, speaker series and camps.”
Chaired by local facilitator and volunteer Lisa Black, who has a background in children’s community theatre groups and the renowned Mount Tom Day Camp in New York, is excited by this new opportunity.
“What started as a 25th-anniversary community committee evolved into the Roundtable Community Committee because the process of having a voice, contributing program ideas and partnering with ArtSpring to bring them to life isn’t just limited to this one-time event,” said Black. “The intent is that it will be ongoing.”
Those who come on Oct. 29 can sign up for more committee information. Those who are interested but cannot attend, or for have materials or memories to share but have mobility issues, can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-537-2125 for assistance.