ARTS/West, a division of the City of
1. History of the Organization
The mission of ARTS/West is to make facilities, resources, and opportunities available to artists and community residents of
History and Current Activities
In 2004, the Athens Municipal Arts Commission and the City of
Project Need Statement
ARTS/West was created to address public concerns over the lack of a facility space capable of serving a variety of performing arts needs, especially following the demolition of the old recreation center on
With the help of a CBGD grant, ARTS/West has recently installed a new boiler system, bringing us from 45% energy efficiency in heating the building to 98% efficiency. While this is an important step in addressing ARTS/West’s sustainability, it is only part of the solution. During performances of Lost Flamingo Company’s Bat Boy: The Musical the ceiling started to leak onto the actors during a scene. The compressors were turned off forcing the capacity audience (175 not including staff and actors) to sit in the performance space for the remainder of the show as temperatures exceeded 84 degrees. In September of 2007, during a performance, two of our HVAC units (installed in 1984) made a loud noise and ceased functioning, leaving ARTS/West without a reliable method of cooling the building or maintaining proper humidity levels in the performance space. Additionally, the performance space is lacking in sufficient insulation in the ceiling structure – leaving us vulnerable to extreme temperature fluctuations during both the heat and the cold. Not only does this present difficulties in keeping our audiences comfortable during the heat of Athens’ summers, but it also presents a danger to the delicate sound and lighting equipment in our space, as well as the baby grand piano that resides on our stage, on permanent loan from Gene Jennings. Replacing and repairing equipment damaged by the unstable temperature in the space is an expense that ARTS/West cannot support on a day to day basis. In order to remain a viable, efficient, and sustainable home for local performing and visual artists, ARTS/West must install new, energy efficient HVAC units in our performance space and new, high-efficiency insulation to protect the space.
ARTS/West, located at
The Athens Municipal Arts Commission requests a total of $25,000 to fund the purchase and installation of a new HVAC system and insulation, with the goal of lowering overall costs, increasing energy efficiency, and meeting the standards laid out by the Cool Cities Act of the Sierra Club. ARTS/West seeks to have the new system installed immediately, in order that we may be ready for the hot summer months and to prevent and humidity and heat related damage to our sound, lighting, and musical equipment, including the donated baby grand piano.
The goal of installing a new HVAC system for ARTS/West is to have a functional air-conditioning system in operation before the warm months of Spring, Summer and Fall, without which it will be impossible for ARTS/West to continue programming. The goal of installing energy-efficient insulation in our performance space is both to protect the electrical and musical equipment in our space from fluctuating temperatures and humidity, while allowing us to lower heating and cooling costs and become a “greener” organization overall. Installing the system and insulation will have several concurrent effects to our operations:
1. It will become a sustainable benefit to the City’s investment in the facility of ARTS/West by allowing us to control the temperature and humidity of the space in a cost-effective manner, while saving on the repair costs that would be incurred by an environment with unregulated temperature.
2. It will allow us to continue to offer programming, including innovative arts education programs through organizations like the Appalachian Progressive Education Center, throughout the hot summer months. The revenue earned from tuition and rental fees from these programs will, in turn, help us remain economically sustainable without becoming a burden to
By giving us the ability to produce performances, classes, and workshops year-round, the installation of a new HVAC system and insulation will allow us to continue to generate rental, fee, and tuition income during times when we would otherwise be closed – a portion of which will be allotted within each yearly budget to pay for repairs and maintenance on the new equipment. Additionally, funds from Community Block Development Grants and the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission have been allotted for the installation of a new boiler (completed September 2007) and new windows (to be completed January 2008), which will contribute to overall energy-efficiency throughout the building and to the longevity of the new HVAC and insulation systems. ARTS/West will also continue to raise community donations with the help of AMAC from direct-mail fundraising campaigns and fundraising events held in the facility to maintain the condition of the building and equipment.So, what do you think? Please contact Emily, Program Specialist in her office if you think you can help. Then please come and enjoy the Ohio Valley Summer Theaters presentation of Steel Magnolias June 19-29 (www.ovst.org), OVST's summer camp and the Appalachian Progressive Educations Summer Camp.