By showcasing creative art exhibits, live theater and hands-on art projects in the schools for the past 20 years, Jordan River Arts Councils 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 councils Jordan River Art Center anchors the north end of East Jordans 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 JRACs 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 councils 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 dont go out and advertise its almost by word of mouth.
The diverse board consists of artists, lawyers and other professionals. Everyones volunteer, says Ellis. We have really good working members. we really have to all pitch in.