In 2017, Gaylord Area Council for the Arts applied for a capacity grant though the Community Grant Program. Capacity is a very powerful tool for all organizations, and it is important to the nonprofit sector to have capacity funding to help them grow and become self-sustainable. Knowing that funding was available for longer than one year offered GACA the opportunity to offer employment to a qualified staff member. This project achieved its goal of providing GACA with enough funding to hire a part-time administrative assistant, Sheryl Lamarand.

“The multi-year grant from the Otsego Community Foundation has allowed me to provide administrative support for a number of programs in the past three years – the DIA Inside/Out Exhibit, the Children’s Art Classes, the Random Acts of Music program, as well as the Funday Monday programs during the 100-Day Project and many others. Without support for my position, I don’t see how we could have organized so many exciting programs with volunteers only,” said Lamarand.

Having more office assistance allowed GACA’s Arts Manager, Jan Kellogg, time to devote to fundraising and other efforts to bring more funding and continued sustainability to the organization. While a capacity grant impacts Otsego County residents indirectly, these funds were essential for helping GACA through their growing pains. They have expanded programming, membership and the number of visitors to the art gallery. Without this funding, GACA may have lost its ability to pay for needed staffing, which would have led to less programming. This, in turn, would have led to a decrease in public support and membership. If support falls too low, GACA will have to close its doors, which would mean the loss of arts programming and services in the community.

“One of the joys of being associated with GACA is being able to watch the ‘magic’ that often happens here. Things like watching a budding artist gain enough confidence to enter our juried Fine Art exhibit or seeing artists and musicians learn from one another through our 100 Day Project, Funday Mondays or Music Jams. Helping young people learn more about making art is also a big part of our magic. Having capacity building support from the Otsego Community Foundation helps to make things like this possible,” said Kellogg

With the support of the James C. Cotant Family Fund and the Lampert Family Fund of the Otsego Community Foundation, this multi-year grant was made possible. If you want to support the arts and culture in our area, please consider a donation to the Arts and Culture Fund of the Otsego Community Foundation.