BY JEFF BETTGER
This year has been a great year for Artist Reformation. We have continued to work on our ongoing projects, began a collaborative relationship with a local Capitol Hill church called Calvary: The Hill, officially became a federally recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit, continued our Monday Bible study, and this coming year are embarking on our biggest project ever! But first, here are some more 2014 highlights:
With new potential board members showing interest, we began to work through a restructure of the board of Artist Reformation. We are very close to wrapping that up and will be excited to announce the new board members in the next few months as we have our first meetings with the new board.
We have maintained our partnership with Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission’s Art from the Streets program, and have been able to really help move forward the art career of a few painters through the program. Our work with SalaamGarage has continued as well. We got to see the culmination of The Long Road Home: Aging Out Of Foster Care project after working together on this project for over two years. We raised money through a successful Kickstarter campaign and were able to create a gallery show presenting the struggles of nine individuals who aged out of foster care. We were able to show the gallery at the Art Institute of Seattle, as well as the 220 and Change building in Pioneer Square, and the Columbia City Starbucks.
Moving into 2015, we have some great new opportunities that we will be following up on. One could potentially lead to full access to a recording studio, as well as a more centralized office space. Currently we have been meeting in various locations, with many being located in South Seattle, which has been difficult for many of our volunteers to get to, so this is a very exciting development. However, we have been very thankful for our time officing with our friends at their brewery/coffee roastery in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle over the past few months. The brewery/roastery has a large office space and we have been slowly transforming it into a neighborhood co-op work space. The brewery is called Burdick and the coffee is called Mae James. Check them out as they are both friends and partners in various endeavors we are working on.
Now the big news. As I said before, 2015 will mark the beginning of our biggest project to date! Let me tell you about it. On January 1st we signed a lease on a House on Capitol Hill and moved in seven people (soon to be eight) to live, create, and serve in community together. We are calling this new program Residency and hope to have a house in many neighborhoods around our city. This is the test pilot for it. The people range in skill and creative ambitions. Interests include community activism, social entrepreneurship, being a creative catalyst for others, video, design, painting, and audio engineering, to name a few. This is something we have been excited about doing since we began Artist Reformation. This last year the opportunities presented themselves and we finally just launched this long awaited program of ours. We will keep you all posted throughout the year as to new developments around our Residency program.
Artist Reformation also began an internship program in 2014. We are looking to build out an intern program with a few local colleges and resource centers and are excited about the opportunities we have already had so far. We started out this last summer with an amazing intern from Cornish College of the Arts, Ryan Hunt. Sadly, he had to go back to full time school in the Fall, but shortly after we were introduced to Nico Sun, a student at Seattle Central who is also studying the arts. Nico is an exchange student from China and, after hanging with us for the month of December, also decided to start an internship with us.
In addition to interns, Artist Reformation gained two new volunteer staff members: Brendan Newcomb and Ruben Perez. Brendan is helping us oversee our developing Residency program and Ruben has taken initiative as Project Development Lead. Both Brendan and Ruben are now living in the Capitol Hill house that is a part of our Residency program, so not only do we get to interact with them regularly as staff, but so do the folks in the house!
Another exciting development is that we now have the ability to receive donations that will go directly to Artist Reformation. After working for three years with little to no resources, we are excited about this new You can click on the project you would like to donate to under the “Fund” tab and give a charitable donation directly to that project! This is great news for us as we begin to focus more and more on specific projects that have specific budgets for them. Furthermore, all gifts given to Artist Reformation are tax deductible and go straight to our projects and events since we have no staff costs. If you would like to set up a regular monthly gift or perhaps a larger one time gift you may do so by following the link on our Give page. Every single gift means so much to us and helps us on our mission of "Mobilizing people to connect and create in community." Thanks so much for considering giving and for keeping up with us!
We are looking forward to 2015. Happy New Year everybody!