BRATTLEBORO -- The public is invited to an open meeting of the Arts Council of Windham County on Monday, May 19, from 4 to 5 p.m., at the new Hub Art Space, 57 Harmony Place (other end of Artrageus 1 Gallery, 57 Elliot St.).

ACWC invites all interested in its mission -- "to strengthen the environment for artists and arts organizations in Windham County" -- to bring ideas, dreams or concerns to share. The open meeting will be followed by a Trustees meeting from 5 to 6 p.m. that is also open to the public.

The current work of ACWC falls into three major areas:

* Advocacy: providing a united voice of the arts including reports on economic impact of the arts in the county, producing regional marketing material, and presenting Student Art Month.

* Connection: bringing artists and arts organizations together for mutual education, support and collaboration.

* Nurturing: supporting developing artists and new ideas by providing business training, partnering on grants, providing 501c3 umbrella for fledgling arts organizations and projects, and producing Brattleboro’s Gallery Walk.

The Arts Council is hosting a forum titled "Artists Working Together!" on Thursday, May 22, from 7 to 9 p.m., at The Works Café, 118 Main St.

Windham County is a great place for artists and craftsmen to live and work, but we often do this in isolation.


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In what ways do artists in our area come together for mutual support, inspiration, and marketing? This forum will explore some successful local models and how the lives of working artists and craftsmen are made better by cooperative associations.

The Arts Council of Windham County, in partnership with Brattleboro-West Arts and The Works Café, is presenting this forum to help artists make connections and form relationships to further their success. Painter Petey Mitchell, one of the founders of the Windham Art Gallery; potter Alan Steinberg of Clayworks, a cooperative ceramics studio; and photographer Chris Triebert of Rock River Artists will share their experience and insights. The forum will continue with questions and peer discussion.

Questions to be explored will include:

* How do cooperative galleries work and succeed?

* What is the role of Studio Tours in regional marketing?

* When does sharing production space or equipment make sense?

* What do we get out of just being together?

* Why are artists such good cooks and how to make potlucks succeed?

* Why do we need each other?

* Is there anything special about Windham County and artist groups?

* How much has the Internet and social media changed things?

The forum will begin with a potluck dessert. The forum is appropriate for all artists, craftsmen and anyone interested in the topic. It is free for ACWC members, $10 for others.

Coming up next, the forum series presents Using our Art to address Climate Change: How can the arts make a difference? on June 24 at 6:30 p.m., at Brooks Memorial Library.

More information on the Arts Council is available at www.acwc.us or from its president, Doug Cox, at dcox@sover.net or 802-257-1024.