Artful Giving: The Arts Depot, Abingdon, Va.
By ANGELA WAMPLER | A! MAGAZINE FOR THE ARTS | November 22, 2009Arts Administrator Bob Cassell says:
In 2009 the Depot experienced an approximate 25% decline in sales from the exhibition galleries compared to 2008, and the Resident Studio Artists report that their sales have been "significantly" less than they were in 2008. Registration for the annual watercolor workshop that normally has a waiting list is also down this year; that indicates that potential attendees are watching closely their discretionary spending.
For the Depot, funding from the Town of Abingdon increased in 2009, in part to help promote tourism for the recently enhanced Depot Square. And thanks to our generous and very faithful supporters, the monetary contributions and the membership levels have stayed approximately the same as in 2008.
The Arts Depot is governed by the Depot Artists Association (DAA). The DAA is on solid financial ground; however, for the first time in many, many years, funds had to be withdrawn from reserves to balance the budget. The DAA has deferred discretionary expenditures where possible, such as purchase of new chairs. The DAA board will be taking a very close look to see what alterations, if any, are necessary for the upcoming budget year.
Good news: arts programming at the Depot has not been altered in either number or quality of offerings, and staff has remained the same.
BUY REGIONAL ART
You can help support local artists by purchasing their art and handcrafted items. Much of the DAA's income comes from commissions on gallery sales. Admission to the Depot is free and there is no intent to change this policy.
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP
At the Depot, volunteers are always welcome and needed. Examples include the following:
• greeting visitors, generally in two-hour shifts,
• preparing newsletters,
• helping with mailings by folding and stuffing envelopes,
• painting, cleaning windows, and doing minor repairs, and
• organizing events and classes.
Also welcome are donations of frequently used items such as copy paper, toilet tissue, paper towels, trash bags, pens and pencils.
In addition, the DAA welcomes donations of quality items (other than clothing) in May of each year for the Elegant Elephant Sale, with all proceeds benefiting the organization. Unfortunately, due to limited storage space, early donations cannot be accepted.
The Arts Depot
P.O. Box 2513
Abingdon, VA 24212
— Barter Theatre, Abingdon, Va.