By Joanna McBride
I recently read an article on how art projects can improve struggling communities.
1. Promote Interaction in Public Space.
2. Increase Participation through Celebrations.
3. Engage Youth in the Community.
4. Promote the Power and Preservation of Place.
5. Broaden Participation in the Cultural Agenda.
Today we connected with Nancy Arcand, Executive Director of the Mission Arts Council, and asked her the difficult question about COVID-19;
“Where does this leave the arts?”
The Mission Arts Council was first established in 1972 as a small organization put together to support the Arts and Culture in our little community.
Over the past 47 years, they have been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life and the creative vitality of the people of Mission by nurturing awareness of, involvement in, and commitment to Arts and Culture … but how?
If you look at a lot of our local annual events, it may surprise you to discover that many of them have the Mission Arts Council, and Nancy, at the helm.
To name a few, MAC is primarily responsible for Spring Break Camp MAC, the Children’s Festival, the Christmas Craft Fair and The Haunted Attraction. In addition, they host artistic classes and innovative workshops throughout the year.
The present location of the Arts Centre was opened in the 2000, and this year will mark the 20 year anniversary for the organization.
“We are so fortunate to be where we are,” Nancy tells us. “We have a few low cost studios and are able to provide local artists with the space they need to create.”
MAC prides themselves on promoting and supporting emerging artists from not only Mission, but across our province.
“We are able to open up the Rock Family Gallery doors and provide them the opportunity of their first solo exhibition.”
Unfortunately for emerging artists and our community, those doors are now closed indefinitely.
“Difficult times like this will result in major cuts to arts and culture,” Nancy explains, shaking her head in disbelief.
With all programs, classes and events cancelled, Nancy is now trying desperately to focus on the beauty of art in isolation.
As they endeavour to stay connected to the community, they consider the options in regards to being proactive with arts and culture. Virtual galleries and online workshops are underway in order to encourage creation from home.
The Mission Arts Council has been taking positive steps towards generating a positive social media presence. If you have designed something that represents wellbeing, happiness and light, they will repost it.
Advice for the community?
“Be willing and able to step up and assist where you can. It’s a changing world,” says Nancy. “It’s imperative to support local artists. We have to help each other understand how we can move forward in a different way.”
Mission… let’s support our local arts and culture.
If you’re able, please take a moment before you request a refund. And if you are in a position to donate, please do.
Together, we can keep the arts & culture of our community alive.