Rebuilding the Front Porch of America (by Patrick Overton) reminds us that “We are losing our front porch. We are losing our gathering place. It is being replaced with decks in the back yard and contemporary architecture dominated by the garage…Our culture is slowly ‘disintegrating.’” In the midst of this upheaval, his work reminds us “We help people make art. And, in the process, we help people make community.”
–Thriving Arts: Thriving Small Communities, Sharon Rodning Bash
The Old School Arts Center (OSAC) sprouted from this seed: The belief that art makes community and the community makes art. Nearly three years of planning, of dreaming, of creating a vision, of sweat and work and volunteering saw the dream become the beginnings of a reality. With roots firmly in Sandstone, Pine County, East-Central Minnesota, we hope to see our branches grow wide and far flung. Now we invite you to come, to participate, to join us, to sit on our “front porch” and enjoy the shade. Call now, make a donation, become a member, come to the facility, discuss, and spread the word.
We open our gallery on February 17, 2012. Our hours will be limited mainly to weekends at first until we establish ourselves but we will be available by appointment during the week. The atrium will house our initial art shows. The Sandstone Library Board will staff a coffee and snack service and we will have free wi-fi for patrons who wish to relax and spend some time in the facility. Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. we will have an artist demonstration or talk, free of charge, and we encourage you to come and meet our local artists. Regular acoustic music jams will take place every Sunday at 1:00 p.m., also free of charge.
The OSAC is fiscally sponsored by the Nemadji Community Resource Committee (NCRC), the fully non-profit company of the Nemadji Research Corporation of Bruno, Minnesota. The OSAC functions and governs itself independently but is a legal part of the NCRC.
We have a 300+ seat theater that we will be working on next in addition to a multitude of classrooms, performance spaces, practice facilities and other, as-yet-undefined spaces. We intend to help subsidize our costs by renting out the gymnasium to the community at market rates as soon as we have improved public access issues. All of this will take time and money but if we have your help, the OSAC will be the premiere community art establishment between the Twin Cities and Duluth. Please call 320-216-7635, become a member, make a donation or volunteer your time. We know there are supporters, teachers, artists, and talented people throughout our community and we need you all to be involved for our vision to become reality.