Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

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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