Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

Home · Articles · News · Art · Jordan River Arts Council
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Jordan River Arts Council

Carina Hume - October 27th, 2008
By showcasing creative art exhibits, live theater and hands-on art projects in the schools for the past 20 years, Jordan River Arts Council’s mission is simple – to bring the arts to Antrim and southern Charlevoix counties.
Housed in a brick, 1900s-built former Carnegie Library, with two galleries, original leaded windows and restored wood interior, the arts council’s Jordan River Art Center anchors the north end of East Jordan’s Main Street.
After celebrating its longevity with a late-summer, 20-year anniversary exhibit and member picnic, JRAC continues to focus on its future.

IT TAKES VOLUNTEERS
Formed in 1988, with Fran Pletz as its first president, the council quickly attained 115 members and gathered a volunteer board. Artist Pat Tinney designed JRAC’s lady slipper logo, which remains its logo to this day.
“I came in shortly after it was founded,” says Howard Ellis, a former president (three times) of JRAC and membership coordinator for the last seven years. “I was not a founding member because I had to work that night,” he says with a laugh.
Today, council memberships are close to 300 and provide a good portion of the council’s funding, as well as art education grants.
“With 292 members we do quite well membership-wise,” says Ellis. “People are very kind and generous. We really don’t go out and advertise – it’s almost by word of mouth.”
The diverse board consists of artists, lawyers and other professionals. “Everyone’s volunteer,” says Ellis. “We have really good working members. we really have to all pitch in.”

PROMOTING ART’S FUTURE
Educational grants provide funding to introduce art in area schools by offering workshops and classes and display exhibits in the galleries.
“Last spring our teachers went into all the schools with felting equipment and then all the kids got to do what is called needle-felting; and those are on display now. And we do go into the schools a lot with various projects and have school kids come to the arts center, too.”
JRAC also provides scholarship opportunities for serious art students.
“Every May we have a wonderful scholarship show,” explains Ellis. “We invite all kids in our area to participate with the criteria that they’re going to art school. At the end of the first semester they send us grades and we give money for the next semester.”
JRAC Denominations of $1,500, $1,000 and $750. 12 high schools are invited each year, and most have students who participate.
“We can’t do it without the teachers,” admits Ellis. “They’re very cooperative.”

YOU’RE INVITED!
If you’re in East Jordan in the next few weeks, be sure to grab a seat for JRAC’s current exhibit, “An Invitation to the Table.” Curated by artist, Nancy Carey, the show runs through November 14.
“You pretend you’re inviting a real person or an imaginary person to dinner and then you create a place setting that goes with that person’s background or personality,” explains Ellis. “One woman has a vast Elvis collection, so she’s inviting Elvis. People are pretty inventive, so that should be fun.”
Paintings from this summer’s 2008 Artist Gathering are also on display.
And mark your calendar for JRAC’s one-day Members’ Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair, November 8, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at East Jordan High School. Nearly 50 artist booths are committed already – with hopes for a few more. Many artists come from all over the state.
“We serve a marvelous gourmet lunch,” says Ellis, who works on the kitchen crew as well as overseeing the entire arts and crafts fair.
“It’s just before hunting season opens,” continues Ellis, “and we usually do pretty well. The community’s very supportive, even though there are many other art shows all around us.”
Closer to the holidays JRAC offers a members’ sale with a kid’s section of affordable gifts. Cooks will enjoy a copy of “Flavors and Visions,” a 250-page book for sale.
“It’s art and a cookbook,” says Ellis. “A lot of our artists were willing to let us have pictures and to give us recipes. It’s been a great money-raiser for us – $25 and well worth it.”

ON A MISSION
With six to eight varied art shows per year – from metal works to motorcycles to fiber art – and opportunities for art education, JRAC is clearly filling a need in its community. The council prides itself on making art accessible to all.
“It’s a very friendly place,” says Ellis, “very unpretentious. We do have a great variety of work…and we put a show together with some sort of theme.”
But JRAC’s small-town success definitely depends on those who give their time.
“Twenty years of volunteers being willing to give as much time and effort to keep an organization going,says something about our community and our artists that I think is very important,” concludes Ellis, “because without them, we could not do this.”

Visit Jordan River Arts Council at 301 Main Street in East Jordan. The council is open from 1-4 p.m. daily. Call 231-536-3385 or visit www.jordanriverarts.com for more information.


 
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