Expected rain moves event to Town Hall

UPDATED, Oct. 27: Plans by the Arlington Center for the Arts to move by next summer are advancing on two fronts -- a ceremony tonight and a fund-raising effort that is nearing the halfway point in the amount that must be raised in six months.

The public is invited to the 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, ribbon-cutting. With rain forecast, the ceremony has been moved Town Hall, in the Lyons Conference Room, on the second floor, from its new home at the Central School/Senior Center.

Linda Shoemaker, the center's executive director, wrote in response to questions from YourArlington, that all will gather at the Academy Street entrance for a symbolic ribbon-cutting and official kickoff of the public phase of the ACA Future Fund, the campaign seeking $600,000, which aims to help underwrite a new home for the center.

Helping to celebrate will be special guests from the town, music by the A-Town Brass Band, Smiling Sun puppets from the Puppeteers Collaborative, refreshments from Food Link and other surprises.

As to fund-raising, Jenny Raitt, director of planning and community development, wrote Sept. 27 that the Redevelopment Board received the first quarterly update from the center the previous evening, and it shows $63,000 raised so far.

On July 25, the Redevelopment Board approved a deal under which the center would move from its 27-year-old home, the former Gibbs School on Foster Street, to the third and fourth floors of the Senior Center. The move must occur, because increasing enrollment has required the public schools to take back the former Gibbs and renovate it for six-grade classrooms.

Faces $260K June goal

To make the move, the center must raise at least $260,000 by next June -- and at least half that by the end of January.

The center's capital campaign will be shooting for far more, and in an effort to boost that possibility, the center will be applying for a ACA will be applying for a ACA will be applying for a cultural facilities fund grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. This is a one-to-one matching grant for projects that enhance cultural facilities.

"It's a competitive program that receives many more applications than can be funded," she wrote, "but I'm hopeful. We'll make the strongest possible case for the Arlington Center for the Arts, and all that a 'new ACA' can bring to the Arlington community."

For the Oct. 27 event, there will be refreshments, and the public will be able to see preliminary renovation plans, ask questions and learn about ways to get involved.

3 key events

Shoemaker also told the Redevelopment Board that the center has planned three major fund-raisers for the Future Fund. They are:

-- Tuesday, Nov. 1: Poe film "Buried Alive" with a VIP reception at the Regent Theatre;

-- Saturday, Jan. 28: Arts gala at Town Hall; and

-- Saturday, April 15: BluesApocalypse 3.0, which performed last spring at the center, at Town Hall.

A flier to promote the Future Fund calls for "creating a new home for Arlington's Heart of the Arts' in the historic Central School at the heart Arlington's downtown cultural district."

The flier's copy sounds the campaign's themes -- longevity, creativity and the center's broad appeal. It says, in part:

"For 27 years, the Arlington Center for the Arts has been a cornerstone for the creative community in Arlington, providing vibrant, accessible arts programming for thousands of kids, teens, adults, seniors, artists, musicians, writers, performers and all of us who value living in a vibrant arts-oriented community ...."

Hopes for new site

Plans for new space include:

• Two-level gallery for exhibitions of emerging and established local artists, with inviting gathering spaces;

• Three to five arts classrooms for classes, workshops and youth camp programs;

• Eight to 12 individual artist studios, plus shared or co-working studio space; and

• Flexible small performance and function space.

In the past year, the center has served more than 15,000 kids, teens, adults, seniors, students, campers, artists, musicians, performers and visitors.

Ways to help: Make a pledge or donation, attend a fund-raiser, join an event or auction committee, host a house party or donate an auction item.

To contribute, contact Shoemaker at 781-648-6220 or linda[@]acarts.org.

Learn more at www.acarts.org.

July 27, 2016: Center for Arts' capital campaign sets lofty goal -- $600,000

July 26, 2016: ACMi award goes to Shoemaker
Full memorandum of understanding, Center for the Arts, Redevelopment Board (large .pdf file

May 24, 2016: Town receives three proposals to lease Senior Center space

June 20, 2016: Public sees plans for revamped Senior Center, and 'no bricks' draws applause

This news summary was published Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, and updated Oct. 27.