Whew, we finished freshening up the website and there's more to come, but for now, we've got a new design by Mary Lambert, some new photos, and best of all (for us) and hopefully easy (for donors) some Paypal donation buttons. Just testing the buttons before we went live, we got about a dozen donations! This is so good!
The calendar is the same as before -- it's a Google calendar updated right from the OFFCenter studio, so it's always current thanks to OFFCenter staff keeping up with it.
Yesterday I dropped by just as Kathy Wysocki's (sp?) monotype printing workshop was wrapping up. It darn near brings me to tears whenever I see the OFFCenter community stepping in to help Interim Director Ron Breen. Molly and Rick and Karen and some other folks I didn't know were recovering tables with clean paper and otherwise tidying up after the class. This is what I'm talking about. An active community. A mixed up, diverse, humble community. Perhaps that last sentence isn't in the vision statement but that is what I see every time I drop in.
When OFFCenter got mentioned in the paper last winter because city funding got cut (along with a bunch of other good organizations and not because OFFCenter didn't manage things well as it has for several years now), it could have been the end of the road. But that didn't happen because it woke everybody up who loves OFFCenter. Folks said, uh-oh, I may have taken this place for granted but no more. I'm going to give what I can and work hard to make sure this place I love and need doesn't go away. Ron had stepped in and was keeping things together as best he could -- he told me after the 2009 Board was elected he felt like the cavalry had arrived (that might not be the best analogy for a diverse New Mexico organization but you get the idea, LOL). Help was on the way.
And now this spring so many MORE people are dropping by than ever before. One day recently when a grant funder dropped by to look the place over there were over 50 people in and out of the studio that day. There was a free watercolor class going on at one table. There were free guitar lessons in the corner. Nobody set this up, it just happened like that. The (looks like it's a go) funders got to see every type of person that visits OFFCenter, just in that one day. Kids after school, young mothers from the neighborhood, men with backpacks and a local artist helping to sort fabric donations. Another group in the corner planning a collaborative project with another community program.
Quiet, buzzing, subtle, wacky, quirky, peaceful, holy -- respectful, therapeutic, buddhist, bright -- colorful, virbrant, in the trenches, tragic, vital -- grounding, spontaneous, improvisational, noisy, healing -- communal, reality, urban, unique. Someone asked us at the last Board meeting what it is about OFFCenter that defines why we go there. I said, in all seriousness, I think it's the pretty colors. 8-)