It seems that every week a major publication or popular blog “discovers” what we knew all along about our creative little city. A renaissance that has been hinted at for years might finally be taking hold here for the long term. Today, during a critical phase in Beacon’s growth, we are asking you to invest in our efforts to grow BeaconArts as a catalyst for our creative community.
Promoting the cultural vibrancy that has become Beacon’s trademark is our mission at BeaconArts, a nonprofit organization founded in 2003 to organize, promote and nurture what was then a still nascent arts community.
Today, BeaconArts has nearly 150 artist members and 80 business members. Second Saturday, organized and promoted collaboratively between the two, draws hundreds of visitors over two days each month. Foot traffic is on the rise every other weekend now and shows no sign of dropping.
Citywide events draw additional thousands from the tri-state region and beyond: Beacon Open Studios, Windows on Main Street, Beacon Independent Film Festival, Beacon Riverfest, Beacon 3D and HeFestus. These are major projects that take all year to produce, usually by one project manager with a day job and small teams of volunteers.
BeaconArts manages all of these initiatives as fiscal sponsor, overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors. Here’s what else we do:
- Publish and distribute an illustrated, annotated map of Beacon every 3 months for galleries and business members, distributed throughout the city and beyond.
- Serve as Beacon’s ad hoc advertising agency, publicity agent and tour guide, working closely with Arts Mid-Hudson, Dutchess County Tourism and a variety of publications to ensure that Beacon is literally on their maps as a destination in the Hudson Valley.
- We are also fiscal sponsors of the Beacon Arts and Education Foundation a coalition of parents, educators, businesses and other organizations that raise funds for enhanced art programming and other special opportunities for the students of the Beacon City School District.
Often working behind the scenes, BeaconArts is the artery through which much of the city’s creative efforts flow and manifest, with expenses offset mostly by business owners and arts minded individuals who recognize the economic value in supporting local arts and culture.
Today, we stand at a critical juncture in Beacon’s growth. With increased home ownership and tourism comes development, and more demand on our municipal resources. According to Philipstown.info/The Paper, “As many as 100 new residential apartments and condominiums (in Beacon) are expected to be ready for occupancy in 2016.” The implications can go in a lot of directions, but our particular focus is on preserving and protecting our creative capital – the very essence of what makes Beacon so attractive.
Our mission is to enable artists to continue to live and work here by promoting their projects to a larger audience. There is indeed a wonderfully diverse new crop of restaurants and independent businesses launching here, but what sets Beacon apart from other Hudson Valley towns is our legacy as a home for artists and makers.
As our 2016 fiscal year comes to a close, we are looking ahead to how we can evolve as an organization the way that Beacon is growing and to improve our infrastructure accordingly. This includes:
- Finalizing and activating a new strategic plan for the organization
- Identifying new ways to promote what we do, including an increase in marketing and paid advertising
- Recruiting professional talent
- Developing a mobile-friendly interactive guide for all of our cultural events
Join as a FRIEND today for a donation of $100. BUSINESS membership is less than $300 per year. We thank all of our current members and ask that you consider a one-time donation to support our plans for growth. Membership at any level includes access to opportunities, services and lots of promotion, as well as discounts to Main Street shops.
A contribution toward BeaconArts’ first-ever annual fundraising appeal is a vote of confidence in our efforts to support the arts community that lives and creates here, and to keep building on the precious synergy between Beacon’s artists and our community of business owners and entrepreneurs.