Editor’s note: The Daily Reporter will feature our “Neighbors” each month, whether it be someone with an interesting hobby or profession, or a nonprofit group making a difference in our community. Here, Alice Hedden, president of the Hancock County Arts Council, shares about the organization. If you know a person or a group that you’d like to see featured in Neighbors, email [email protected].
Name: Hancock County Arts Council
Gallery address: 20-A N. State St., Greenfield
Online: www.HancockCountyArts.com, ha[email protected], facebook.com/HancockCountyArtsCouncil
Annual budget: $25,000
Other members of the board: Aby Apodaca, vice president; Jessica Lacy, secretary; Cindi Holloway, treasurer; Mark Dudley, Carol Barrett, Jen Ramo, Joan Webb, Steve Smith, Dan Payne, Regina Bever, Mary Schuck and Janet Darling. Mark Dudley and Steve Smith have been with the Council since it began.
Daily Reporter: What is your group’s mission?
Hedden: Our vision is to have a vibrant community where arts and culture flourish and are widely embraced. Our mission: Hancock County Arts will provide leadership for the creative community by encouraging, celebrating, and promoting arts and culture throughout Hancock County.
DR: Who do you serve?
Hedden: We serve all age groups in Hancock County and throughout Indiana.
DR: When did it all begin?
Hedden: I am told 1999 is when artist friends gathered and created the council in conjunction with Greenfield Parks and Recreation Department and the City of Greenfield.
DR: What is your group’s biggest challenge?
Hedden: Immediately, since COVID, the volunteer group is our biggest challenge. People began to rethink their priorities and family safety. We are thin in the area of volunteers.
We still have a vision of more classes, more workshops, education and community events. So, we need more room, more money and we also realize it is a circle. We have exhibits and things to do, to bring in people who want to see and do, which creates more interest in the community, which brings more exhibits and things to do.
DR: What are your primary events or fundraisers?
Hedden: Our annual Will Vawter Juried Art Exhibit began soon after the inception of HCAC. That brings 40-plus artists from all over Indiana exhibiting in our gallery. The artwork is award-winning. This is a large event and a small fundraiser for us. Our second fundraiser is the online auction, through BiddingForGood platform. This began last year, 2020. This year we had sponsors and the online auction ended Oct. 16 with a Diamonds and Denim gala.
DR: How can someone volunteer or help financially?
Hedden: Volunteers can contact us through gmail. We have begun to use SignUpGenius for many of our events. We need volunteers for our marketing, events and fundraising committees. It is a fun way to use your talents and be creative at the same time.
We can always use financial help and we acknowledge our members and sponsors in the gallery. As we create the events, classes and workshops, we will reach out to what we have found to be a wonderfully generous, philanthropic community.
DR: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Hedden: There is an explosive art community waiting for us to show our leadership and expose their work to others.