By Sue Moore
VCAC at Risk
The Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center has come to a crossroads at the end of its first year in existence. It needs to be self-supporting even though it is under the auspices of the Vicksburg Downtown Development Authority (DDA). The vision for the Arts Center was to fill a void in the community. It was thought if the arts flourished it would bring new people to town along with providing a way for the resident artists to sell their exceptional work. It was determined that they needed a showplace for their product and possibly a work area to be creative.
There have been hiccups along the way but with the hiring of two dedicated people, Syd Bastos and Lisa Beams, the center has flourished. They have put on lots of musical events, art shows, poetry readings, and spent hundreds of hours on honing the displays in the gallery at 201 S. Main, so the best pieces would sell. It costs $133 dollars per day to keep the center open six days a week, according to Bastos. The revenue, though significant, just has not caught up to the expenses.
The auction that Bastos and Beams have planned for Nov. 11, may provide enough dollars to keep going. But if it falls short, a whole new game plan will be needed. They hope the community will get behind this big event and be the turning point for the Arts Center.
Christmas in the Villages
This is the third year for the Vicksburg DDA to sponsor Christmas in the Village and the 28th year for Schoolcraft businesses to open the doors for their Christmas Walk. Some new wrinkles have been added in both communities for the weekend of December 2 and 3.
Vicksburg will have all of its activities occur from 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 3 and going late into the evening, with a Holiday Hop wrapping up the activities. The highlight again this year will be the parade at 5:30 which features the holiday lights theme so popular in 2015 and the Big Red Machine high school marching band.
Schoolcraft businesses and the Ladies Library will be open on Friday night for their usual patron visits. On Saturday, December 10, the Schoolcraft Library has planned a beautiful homes tour that opens the doors to four of the quintessential homes in the village to fortunate ticket holders.
This newspaper will feature both villages’ activities in its December issue. This is just a reminder to keep your calendars open to attend these events.
Karla Piper’s Jewelry
Karla has been designing and selling her beautiful silver jewelry at local stores for the past few years. Just recently, she was invited to display and sell her Fordite jewelry at the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum Shop. Fordite is a material made from layers of paint buildup sprayed on cars in the manufacturing process according to Piper.
This represents a big step up for the Siesta Silver Jewelry Co. that she operates out of her home in Vicksburg. Her focus has been on designing jewelry for quilters and thus she travels the country going to quilt shows. This represents a big breakthrough and provides another avenue of business for her.
Vicksburg’s Kent McCauley and his wife Shelley moved to North Dakota where he accepted a job as manager of Butler Machinery in Grand Forks, North Dakota, just in time to catch the boom in the oil industry exploration in that state. His company sells Caterpillar machinery and is now at least holding its own he reports, even though the oil boom has soured. While serving on the Vicksburg Village Council, he proposed putting the Bulldog emblem on the water tower. At first the idea met with a good deal of skepticism but he kept plugging away at it and now the Bulldog even shines at night with a well-placed spotlight shining on it.
Liberty Lane Construction
Kathleen Hoyle, the Vicksburg DDA director reports progress on the Liberty Lane East construction. Over the next two weeks, the landscaping will be in place, as well as the sign arches for both Liberty Lane East and Liberty Lane West and if the weather holds the wall along Jaspare’s will get a new coat of paint. The lamp posts are on back order and will hopefully be in place by the Christmas events.