• Barbara Parker, Board President

Board of Directors 2022 Annual Report to Membership


Barbara Parker, President

What can we expect in 2022? Well, if our Boots & Brushes Country Gala is an indicator, we can expect an outstanding year. A year of recovery and growth in our key performance areas, classes, exhibits, facility operations and fundraising, and a Board of Directors committed to working on your behalf to meet the mission of the Beach Art Center to inspire lifelong learning, empower the individual, and engage the community of all ages in the creative arts.

As the COVID-19 pandemic ebbed and flowed, with health precautions varying month to month. We found the key to our successful recovery was our people. The membership, volunteers, staff, and Board who gave of their time, talents, and finances to help us keep the center open and begin to thrive again. We were fortunate to have such dedicated support to implement the changes required to conduct business during a pandemic. There are examples large and small, I would like to share a few.

Our determined team who made it possible to safely stay open, Directors Diane Scheidle, and Sally Steiner, followed state and national Covid safety guidelines ensuring we changed business operations as needed. People adjusted and started to accept that the only constant was change. We adjusted to smaller class sizes, wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and doing what it took to be back together.

Likewise, as the Beach Art Center returned to a partial program of classes and exhibits the excitement of being together again and making art helped everyone keep their eye on the future. We continued to use the online platform to present classes both at the center and by ZOOM, as well as Hybrid classes which were live and online simultaneously! We have incredibly talented Instructors! And to think some were computer phobic prior to covid.

Our Gallery team led by Lynda Hamlett, Director, was thrilled when given all clear to host a modified gallery reception. We held our first reception in July 2021 with a lot of great art, but no refreshments.

Our gift shop team, led by Rebecca Sacra, opened its doors with a 50% off sale managed by Irene Zafferes. It proved to be a resounding success and fortunately cleared the shop out making it easer to address our next challenge, water intrusion in the gift shop. Director Lynda Hamlett shifting her focus from gallery shows to managing the team of volunteers committee to stopping the flood of water.

Maintaining financial stability was a key focus of the Board and we were constantly exploring ways to bring in revenue. Board members continued to volunteer to run key business operations and projects. We successfully secured federal and local grants, Covid recovery grants. We participated in the Creative Pinellas Arts Catalyst grant focused on summer kids’ camps. Restrictions with social gatherings made it impossible to hold our 2021 Gala which as you know is our major fundraiser. Not to be deterred Director, Linda Keene got busy and rallied forces to hold two online FUNdraisers! You may remember the great fun we all had with the online Mini-Basket Raffle!

At this time of reflection, I turn my thought to our good friend, Director, Larry Gerwig who passed in April 2021. Larry was a kind, quiet, force at the center. He drove our Capital Campaign and other facility improvement projects; he kept the building sound. Larry loved the Beach Art Center, and he was well loved by his art center family. We miss you.

Despite the constraints of the pandemic, and the loss Larry Gerwig we pulled through 2021 with many record achievements. And with the renewed Commitment of our Board of Directors, staff, instructors, amazing volunteers, and our membership 2022 looks even brighter!

Read the full Annual Report for 2022 on our website: https://www.beachartcenter.org/about

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