By Sue Moore
New life was breathed into the future of the Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center (VCAC) with a highly successful Arts and Moore live auction in November, according to Syd Bastos, the Center’s lively manager.
Keeping the Arts Center open has been a year-long financial struggle for Bastos, Lisa Beams, the Gallery manager and their coterie of artists and volunteers. With a net income of $8,919 from the auction and the launching of the 133 Club, Bastos predicts that she can finally engage in some long-range planning to keep the doors open indefinitely.
“One of the Arts Center’s most critical objectives is to contribute to the sense of community in Vicksburg,” Bastos said. “We formed the 133 Club because that’s the amount that it costs to operate the Center for one day during the year. The total operations cost is $48,600 including salaries, rent and utilities.”
“When someone becomes a member, that person links the future of the VCAC to an event that is significant to the member. They can choose a day of the year they want to sponsor. If it is in honor of a loved one, a favorite artist or a special day that they wish to commemorate, it will be acknowledged on Face Book and in the Gallery with all the details included. We are also planning an exciting event that is exclusively for 133 Club members in 2017,” she said. So far, 17 members have joined the Club.
The Gallery’s purpose is to support and serve artists by offering juried exhibitions, education, the promotion and sale of art, as well as presenting special programs, events and performances, Bastos elaborated. To be successful, she wants to engage the community in the artistic process and foster a relationship between artists and the community.
The auction event, held at the Angels Crossing Golf Clubhouse, received art, services and other enticing items from over 60 donors for 92 guests to bid on. The highest single bid received was $1,200 for a golf package with a retail value of $1,650. The package included an annual golf membership at Angels Crossing donated by an anonymous individual, a golf bag trash container, Angels Crossing golf towel, a private golf lesson and sleeve of premium golf balls.
The next highest bid was for $600 for Chef Joe Tsui donating his skills to prepare a four course dinner for four in the successful bidder’s home. The chef got even more generous and offered to do the very same package for another bidder that also sold for $600.
Regular Gallery hours of operation are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. On Wednesday it’s 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. plus the many times its open for special events. Bastos and her staff accepted the responsibility for being the visitors’ center all year long for out of town guests and also keeping an up-to-date listing of the many activities taking place in the surrounding area. She can be reached at 269-501-1347.