SEVERE STORM DAMAGES ROOF AND THE GALLERY IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED!
Unfortunately, we have had to temporarily close the Gallery due to roof damage from a severe storm. We have water damage and have removed art and crafts until the roof is repaired.
Ouachita Artists is a small but thriving non-profit art gallery in a low-income rural community, Mount Ida, Arkansas. For five years it has been our mission to promote the arts in the community and provide local artists and artisans with a place to display their work. We offer regular classes, workshops, demonstration programs and other activities for children and adults and through the generosity of our customers and donors we have managed to keep our doors open.
Two weeks ago a severe storm blew through our area and demolished our roof, causing severe flooding in parts of the gallery. Miraculously we were able to save all the art with practically no damage. But the rain continued for several days, the ceiling fell in, the flooring started coming up, and finally we had to call all the artists to come pick up their work and we closed our doors except for the classes that were already scheduled.
Our insurance will only cover patching the roof, not replacing it. Our building and roof are approximately 100 years old and the roof has been patched numerous times, and further patching will not help–the roofer says the whole thing needs to come off and be replaced, it can’t be patched any more. And there is no coverage for the ceiling and flooring or any other improvements. We do not have the funds for such expenses, but we are determined to keep our little gallery going somehow. Living in a depressed area as we do, local fundraising efforts bring in very little and we are hoping that GoFundMe can help us.
Some of our members hold regular classes at the local nursing home and assisted living center, and we have social events during the year in addition to the classes. We have Halloween and Christmas parties, art and photography contests for children. Losing the gallery would mean the loss of art classes for children, loss of a creative outlet for adults, as well as loss of revenue for the community and loss of income for the artists. Everything in our gallery is handmade by local people, many of whom are retired and living on Social Security, and every little bit of extra income is welcome.
Reaching our $50,000 goal would mean we could replace our roof, ceiling and floors and improve our classroom and exhibit space properly, instead of nickel-and-diming it the way we have had to do in the past. We are very proud of our little gallery and the part it plays in the community and will be eternally grateful for any funds raised through this program. The roofer is scheduled to start next week, and we will use the insurance money as far as it goes, but then we will be at a loss to continue, so we need money as soon as possible. Thank you for this program and the help it has given to so many, and we feel we qualify as a good cause. A first-quality art gallery in a depressed economic area draws an amazing number of people who see our advertising and our website, and we are proud of the part we play in improving our community.
We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, so 100% of your donation is tax-deductible.
Ouachita Artists welcomes new members to our organization. We look forward to meeting you!
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