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Become a Friend of the Arts with a CCAC Membership

by Eva Potter

The arts inspire, give joy, raise consciousness, honor history and culture, and elevate the ordinary, yet the Southern Tier is anything but ordinary – and the Cattaraugus County Arts Council (CCAC) is hoping you think so, too.

For the last 14 years, CCAC has been able to support regional artists and offer quality arts programming through paid memberships.

Anne Conroy-Baiter, executive director of CCAC, said, “To CCAC, each membership we receive is like a demonstration of faith that the arts council is doing what’s important, what’s needed to support the arts, and what’s crucial to increase quality of life in our region. We value each and every membership, and are honored that people trust us to carry on our work.”

This year, CCAC is offering a free limited edition, gift print matted to 8 inches by 10 inches, ready for framing by watercolor artist Sean Huntington (www.seanstrees.com) with your $30 new membership, renewal, or sponsorship, along with a chance to win an original pottery piece by Peter Goergen and two Southern Tier Symphony season tickets.

Local artist Barb Fox feels the arts council does an excellent job in “connecting the dots,” supporting artists and providing cultural activities.

She said, “As an artist, the arts council has been invaluable in providing opportunities for me to show my work, meet patrons and other artists, and improve my professional development. As a member of the community, I appreciate the classes, performances, exhibitions and other cultural activities available to me locally.”

Membership with CCAC provides additional tangible benefits including inspiring art classes in pottery, jewelry making, drawing, painting and more. Your CCAC member card qualifies you for discounts on CCAC classes as well as at area businesses.

Whether you are an emerging artist or seasoned pro, members also qualify to enter pieces into the biannual Member Show. The show happens to be taking place this Friday, Sept. 14 at Jamestown Community College in Olean (see related activities article on page 1).

And there’s more – members receive the bimonthly newsletter full of arts programming, artist bios, class offerings and fun events, as well as the biweekly e-mail newsletter containing the most up-to-date information of the regional arts scene.

There are many, individual reason the arts inspire and fulfill and they’re different for each person. Ellicottville resident Jane Eshbaugh she and her husband joined CCAC to take pottery classes but then realized that her membership means more than that.

“I feel that I’m supporting the arts in Cattaraugus County in a very small way,” said Eshbaugh. “The greatest benefit is that when we’re deep into a pottery session, we don’t think about anything else. You can get lost in art and get a welcome break from just about anything else,” she said. “I’m not sure the rest of my family benefits – they have to pretend they appreciate our gifts of amateur pottery!”

The Cattaraugus County Arts Council is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that has served the greater Cattaraugus County region for over 13 years with quality arts programs and services.

Memberships costs are student/senior $15, individual $20, dual/family $30, silver patron $50-99, gold patron $100-499, platinum patron $599-999 and up. Benefits of each membership level can be found at www.myartscouncil.net/business-sponsorships.html. You can sign up online, email heather@myartscouncil.net or call (716) 372-7455.

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