artNotes from Hyde House: Carthage Community Foundation Award for artCentral

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Following a cold snap, at high noon on a recent day that felt like a gift of Indian Summer, Betsy Flanigan, artCentral’s board president, and I sat masked and distanced—two guests among many spaced and scattered at picnic tables beneath a Memorial Park pavilion. On behalf of artCentral, Betsy and I were at this fall awards luncheon to receive for artCentral a Carthage Community Foundation grant of $2,500. This grant from the Foundation, designated to help artCentral with operational expenses as we meet the economic challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, will make a tremendous stopgap difference!

Each year, spring and autumn, the Carthage Community Foundation awards grants to several non-profits working in their unique ways to make our hometown a better place for all of us. This autumn the Foundation awarded $34,075 to sixteen groups—each dollar a gift as inspiring as the brilliant leaves we see painting our town, the Maple Leaf City of America.

Heather Collier, Foundation Coordinator, with her trademark creative acumen, met this season’s unusual circumstances by relocating the awards gathering to an outdoor setting. The weather blessed her choice with a beautiful day to welcome and recognize organizations and their respective representatives.

Typically a Foundation grant is made for a capital issue or a one-time project. Jeff Williams, Carthage Community Foundation Board president, explained, “Historically speaking, we don’t grant money for operational purposes. This year we’re allowing operational expenses to be granted because donations are down for a lot of agencies due to COVID. That is something we changed and certainly something we saw throughout the process. A lot of our local agencies needed the help this year.”

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The Carthage Community Foundation, with their meaningful demonstration of creative flexibility, adapted their typical giving parameters to help in the ways most needed and thus relieve the stress many non-profits are experiencing.

Without the Foundation’s aid, the pandemic’s increased challenges could be insurmountable. Because of the Carthage Community Foundation’s foresight and dedication to making a difference, artCentral will be better able to respond positively to the downturn caused by the pandemic and to continue to offer uplifting art and opportunities to all of our community as we support the artists that are at the heart of our mission to serve.

For the Carthage Community Foundation’s important and very timely assistance, I and artCentral’s board of directors and all who believe in the importance of our hometown non-profit arts center are deeply grateful. This awarded grant is like those welcome Indian Summer gifts that come to us in the days when summer’s bounty wanes, and yet Mother Nature provides us with an amazing surge of beauty and abundance to carry us through our oncoming winter.  

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, founded in 1792, true Indian Summer falls within a stretch of warm days that follow a spell of cold weather or a good hard frost and come before a first snowfall. By the Almanac’s official definition, this period must occur between St. Martin’s Day (November 11) and November 20.

During the days of Indian Summer temperatures swing dramatically between the warm days when the atmosphere is hazy or smoky and nights that are clear and chilly. Long before November’s St. Martin’s Day, we southwest Missourians can experience one or more curious chills followed by warm weather spells that we are prone to think of as the Indian Summers of our part of the world—those times when we hustle to pull our sweaters out of storage and spread another quilt on the bed as gardens unpack their last favors and the leafy canopy above us celebrates with the splendor of an artist’s palette.

In this most unusual pandemic year, with the help of the Carthage Community Foundation, artCentral is able to open the gallery doors of Hyde House with Indian Summer experiences that will warm your hearts and lift your spirits to carry you through winter into spring.

Additionally assisted by the gracious underwriting of Old Missouri Bank, two marvelous collections are now on exhibition—the INA NIDAY & MARY DATUM | TWO FRIENDS | OIL PAINTINGS and the SMALL WORKS | GREAT WONDERS Silent Auction Fundraiser—are available for your viewing, bidding and holiday shopping through December 5, at 1110 East Thirteenth Street in Carthage. Weekend Gallery Hours are each Friday and Saturday from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. with CDC protocols practiced. Face masks, social distancing and sign-in are required for everyone entering Hyde House. For additional information call (417) 358-4404.

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