Commission kicking off capital campaign for ArtWorks Center

Published 5:06 pm Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Austin Area Commission for the Arts is kicking off its capital campaign for the new ArtWorks Center Friday, Jan. 17, with a fundraiser and big announcement.

The Commission for the Arts received a donation of more than 150 original prints from the Cedar Gallery in Owatonna, which closed in November. Those prints will go on sale through the Buy Art! fundraiser to kick off the capital campaign for the ArtWorks Center.

“We’re looking at this as our big kickoff for the capital campaign,” Executive Director Jennie Knoebel said.

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The Buy Art! sale will be 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the bank building, 300 North Main St. At 6 p.m. Friday, the commission is planning a special announcement at 6 p.m. on the status of the ArtWorks Center project.

Knoebel admitted a donation of more than 150 pieces of art for a fundraiser is unique. All proceeds from the art sales will go toward the ArtWorks Center capital project.

“Raising funds like this is vital,” she said. “It’s going to be absolutely necessary in order for us to open the art center space,” Knoebel said.

Wine, beer and other refreshments will be available. The art will be priced to sell, with mosts prints selling for $50, along with a deal of five prints for $200, according Knoebel. Some prints may be specially priced. Cash, checks or credit cards will be accepted.

The commission is expected to announce the capital campaign goal Friday, along with more details about ArtWorks Center project. The commission has been in discussions with Patrick Bradley to lease the bank building as the location for the Austin ArtWorks Center.

Though the project has been pushed back a few weeks, Knoebel still expects to meet the goal of holding a grand opening for the ArtWorks Center during third annual ArtWorks Festival slated for Aug. 23 and 24. But, progress is contingent on the raising funds through the capital campaign. Commission officials are also discussing grant opportunities with the Hormel Foundation.

Knoebel said fundraising events like Friday and Saturday’s art sale are vitally important for the commission.

“We really survive on our sponsorships,” she said of the businesses and individuals who support the Austin Area Commission for the Arts.

Along with the capital campaign, people can also become a member of the Austin Area Commission for the Arts, which runs the Paramount Theatre, the Austin ArtWorks Festival, and it will manage the ArtWorks Center. People can contact Knoebel at 507-434-0934 to become a member of the Austin Area Commission for the Arts. Knoebel described the membership as a vital way to show support for Austin’s arts community. Membership proceeds go toward the annual operations of the Austin Area Commission for the Arts.