Lumberyard project receives grant
With a $25,000 grant from the Ethel and Raymond F. Rice Foundation, the Lumberyard Arts Center Project has taken another big step toward refurbishing the downtown property for a home to Baldwin City's multi-faceted arts community.
"We're extremely pleased to receive the grant," said Sandy Cardens, who has led efforts to restore the lumberyard since the idea was first hatched in late 2003. "Grants like these, along with personal and corporate donations, get us closer every day to this dream for the community."
The grant brings fund-raising efforts over the $150,000 mark. Cardens said some physical work on the project can probably get started in earnest when the $200,000 plateau is reached. There are no firm costs figures yet, but she said the project could total close to $1 million, depending on the bells and whistles chosen by the committees.
"We've got a way to go yet, but we're making great progress," said Cardens.
The grant is for general construction funds for the building project. The Rice Foundation was organized in 1972 with the purpose of distributing funds to charitable organizations and educational institutions that Mr. Rice contributed to during his life, and like charities and institutions. Since its inception, the Rice Foundation has contributed $9,270,501 to such entities, most of which are in Douglas County.
"The LACP is grateful to the foundation for this grant and to the efforts of the funding committee, which is chaired by Laura Dickinson, in preparing the grant proposal," she said.
Other recent contributions of note include a mail campaign, $1,370 from the Maple Leaf Committee and $1,000 from the City of Baldwin City.
"The recent mail campaign has yielded close to the funding committee's goal of $5,000 in donations from individuals in Baldwin City and the surrounding areas," said Cardens. "This is a tremendous response and shows the support this project is receiving from the community.
"The LACP has also received a check for $1,370 from the Maple Leaf Festival Committee, representing proceeds from booth rentals from the Maple Leaf Festival of 2005," she said. "The LACP would have received only half of this amount from the rentals, however, the MLF Committee generously donated the entire amount they received from vendors in the lumberyard building, doubling the income the lumberyard received from the event."
Plans are being drawn for the center and the LACP is also trying to coordinate those efforts with the downtown curb project which will be started soon.
"At this time, the Lumberyard Arts Center is working closely with its project architect, Paul Werner Architects in Lawrence, and Land Works Studio, the firm handling the downtown project for the City of Baldwin City, to coordinate with the downtown redevelopment plans which are scheduled to start in the near future," said Cardens.
And, the Lumberyard Arts Center is also being used for current efforts, such as an art class for elementary aged students which will center on painting. The class will be taught by Rosemary Murphy and is co-sponsored by the Baldwin Community Arts Council and the LACP, two separate entities.
"An art class for children taught by Rosemary Murphy, well-known area artist, is planned for Saturdays beginning in late January or early February," she said.
More information will be available soon and people with questions can call Cardens at 594-4261.