ArtsLink Set to Kick Off Its 18th Year on Monday in New Martinsville

NEW MARTINSVILLE — ArtsLink, the arts council of Wetzel and Tyler counties, will kick off its 18th year with the annual meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at the Francis Creative Arts Center. The public is invited and light refreshments will be served.

The handicapped-accessible center is located at the corner of Maple Avenue and Washington Street.

Board members to be elected to another term include Barbara Vincent and Amanda McPherson.

During the annual meeting, the board will take a look back at the past year’s successes and reflect on the history of the organization. They anticipate a good turnout of members so they can seek input on goals and activities for the coming year. The public is urged to attend. Also, Carla McBee, manager and trainer at CAM Safety, will be speaking about safe driving during the winter months.

Since its inception in 2001, ArtsLink has had many successes, starting with the $100,000 renovation to the Francis Creative Arts Center, named for the late Elizabeth Francis. The building was donated by her husband Jack Francis, to West Virginia Northern Community College for use as an arts center. An annual concert series, art exhibits, classes and other arts activities have delighted audiences annually, as have children’s theater productions. A mini-grant program gives financial support to local artists and arts organizations. Major partners include West Virginia Northern Community College and the New Martinsville Parks and Recreation Commission. Additional support for ArtsLink’s activities is provided by WETZ & WYMJ Radio, Ohio Valley Online, the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley and the Stealey Community Fund.

Much of the success of the organization can be attributed to its over 200 members and generous donors, including EQT Foundation, Dominion Foundation and John J. Mensore, whose major donation was honored with the naming of the downstairs gallery the “John C. and Catherine Mensore Gallery.” Event sponsorships are matched with grants from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts. Neighborhood Investment Program state tax credits are also available for qualifying donations.

Following the annual meeting, the new board of directors will meet to elect officers.

Additional information concerning ArtsLink is available online at www.artslinkwv.org. ArtsLink is committed to making the arts accessible to all. Those needing assistance to take advantage of ArtsLink’s activities are invited to call 304-455-2278 for more information.

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