Bellows Falls, VT February 27, 2008
Robert McBride, Executive Director of the Rockingham Arts and Museum Project (RAMP) has issued a call to all local artists to attend an Artists Town Meeting on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 from 6 - 8 pm at Boccelli's On the Canal, 46 Canal Street in Bellows Falls. The purpose of the event is to gather local artists for a conversation about the "State of the Arts" in the community and to mobilize people interested in participating in upcoming arts opportunities such as affordable housing and work space, sharing ideas on exhibitions, the Vermont Crafts Council Open Studio Weekend and the annual RAMP Arts Raffle.
"We're excited to present this opportunity for newly arrived and established local artists to meet each other and have a dialogue about the importance of the arts in our community." Says McBride. "There is an ever-growing community of working artists in our midst, all of whom are contributing greatly to the cultural and economic vitality of the area. One of RAMP's many roles is to be an advocate for the arts, and in order to be effective in that role, we seek opportunities to hear from local artists and assist them in making community connections that benefit us all."
McBride goes on to highlight upcoming arts events in the region that give participating artists greater exposure and highlight the great examples of the arts as a vital economic force. "The Vermont Crafts Council Open Studio Weekend, held each year on Memorial Day weekend is a great opportunity for artists to gain access to potential customers, and it also serves as a terrific vehicle for economic development: people come to our town to see art, and in the process have an opportunity to shop locally, dine locally and experience the great atmosphere of a revitalized Vermont downtown. We're looking forward to a greatly expanded presence at this annual event by local artists, and are prepared to organize support and assistance to artists who wish to participate."
McBride expects that the Artists Town Meeting will also contribute to another of RAMP's many goals; that of building a constituency of local artists whose impact can be felt in the political and economic life of the region. "When people who share a commitment to the arts come together and speak with a unified voice, it can have a powerful impact. One of RAMP's visions is to see artists and arts supporters fully integrated into the civic fabric of our community, weighing in on local issues, and contributing a valuable perspective to local dialogue."
McBride envisions the February 27th Artists Town meeting as the first of a series of regular forums whose agendas will be largely shaped by the input gathered at this event. Interested participants are asked to RSVP by e-mailing: email@example.com, with "Artists Town Meeting RSVP" in the subject line, or by calling 802-463-3252. Boccelli's on the Canal is wheelchair accessible.