What We Accomplished in 2016
-We provided workspaces for 11 resident artists, the average size being 75 square feet. Having access to affordable studio space has permitted our artists to pursue a multitude of disciplines, including painting, wood working, mixed media, drawing, ceramics, and music recording. Our artists have been able to create pieces for a number of solo and group exhibitions, sharing their work with a wider audience of artists and community members.
-In Dec 2015, we upgraded our facilities to grow our capacity from eight artist studios to eleven studios. This move allowed us to create a small recording studio and in house frame shop, permitting us to provide unique educational and art experiences to fellow artists and musicians in our community. One of our artists has been able to create a small business from the in house frame shop, giving her the opportunity to work in the arts field.
-In March, we hosted the first open studio in this new facility, allowing about 50 members of our community to get a first hand look at how our organization operates day to day.
-We forged alliances with other non-profit organizations, such as Missoula Community Radio (KFGM), Garden City Lady Arm Wrestlers (GCLAW), Imagination Butte Resource Center (IBRC), Missoula Fringe Festival, and the Roxy Theater.
-Through our two annual group art shows, the spring PromCommon in May and the fall Democracy show in October, we provided an opportunity for over 40 visual and performance artists to exhibit their work outside a traditional gallery setting with affordable submission fees and no commission taken, and provided a unique art experience, including music, performance art and poetry, to 300 community members. By temporarily converting our workspace into a professional gallery setting, we maintained a low overhead, allowing us to accept a wide range of talent and support emerging artists.
-In July 2016, VonCommon took a travelling art show to Butte, MT, part of our efforts to raise awareness of our organization in communities outside Missoula and build alliances with other non-profit art organizations in the state of Montana.
-Beginning in July, we started a monthly series in partnership with the Roxy Theater. Through this film and performance series, we were able to expand our outreach efforts to include different artistic disciplines. In addition to screening relavant art documentaries, we curated short film nights, giving 20 filmmakers an opportunity to show their film work to a new audience.
-In July, VonCommon formally incorporated our organization and received Montana state non-profit status, and in December 2016 we applied for and received federal 501(c)3 non- profit status. This designation will allow us to further facilitate interactions with the community, and to expand opportunities for our artists’ growth through the arts.
-In Aug, we partnered with Missoula Fringe Festival and DunRovin Ranch to facilitate a unique art experience, painting on live horses, for members of the public.
-In September, we held our first annual fundraising event at the VFW in conjunction with GCLAW, raising nearly $900 towards our operating costs, and providing a unique experience for about 75 community members.
-In December, we hosted our 5th annual Art Blizzaard holiday market, providing a vending opportunity for 20 artists and crafters, and raising $200 for Missoula Community Radio (KFGM).
Brief Financial Statement
In 2016, our operating budget was $12,860. We raised funds through artist studio rental fees, exhibit participation fees, and our annual fall fundraiser. Funds raised were used for our facility rental, utilities, studio amenities, and event budgets.
VonCommon in the Media
Plans for 2017
In the coming year, we will continue our annual events, namely our spring group show PromCommon May 6th, our fall show/signature fundraising event Oct 13th, and our 6th annual Art Blizzaard Dec 1st. We will continue our monthly film series, VonCommon Vondays, at the Roxy Theater. In addition to these recurring events, we have two VonCommon group art exhibits planned for June 2017 at E3 Convergence Gallery, and Sept 2017 at the Clark Chateau in Butte, MT.
We are planning on upgrading our facilities to potentially include a darkroom for photography processing and screen printing.
We plan to begin fostering relationships with donors and patrons from the community to help grow our organization’s budget. This increase in our finances will allow us to upgrade our facilities in ways that improve our relationship with our artist community.
Our FEIN # is 81-3989754 and we are now accepting tax-deductible donations for the year 2017. If you’d like to contribute to our efforts, please send a check or money order to: VonCommon 100 Johnson St. Suite #7 Missoula, MT 59801