Access Arts celebrates 40th anniversary with events open to public

Tuesday, August 9, 2011 | 7:20 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Access Arts kicked off its 40th anniversary Aug. 1 with a series of events open to the public that will continue until October.  

Events include an art exhibit, two building dedications, tours and a fundraising party.

Anniversary events

Historical Photo and Art Exhibit

What: Learn about the the history of Access Arts and its community impact over the past 40 years in an exhibit of old and new photographs and artwork. Admission is free.

Where: Uprise Bakery and Ragtag Cinema, 10 Hitt St.

When: Aug. 1 —27


Building Dedications and Tours of the Campus

What: Two of the three campus buildings will be renamed. The pottery and weaving studio at 800 Moss St. will be named Naoma Powell Arts Center. The studio at 1724 McAlester St. will be named Hurst John Arts Center.

Free cake and punch will be served during the dedication, and the public can tour all three campus buildings and watch art demonstrations by students and faculty. Admission is free.

Where: Access Arts, 1724 McAlester St.

When: 1-3 p.m. Aug. 27


VIP Reception and Celebration Fundraising Party

What: Both events will feature music, food, a cash bar and a silent auction. One door prize ticket is included with each admission, and $5 can buy additional chances.

For those who wish to attend both the reception and party, tickets are $40 and include two free drink vouchers. Special guests include former long-time director Naoma Powell and family members of founder Hurst John. Guests can also sign commemorative platters.

For those who wish to attend the party only, tickets are $25 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under and include one free drink voucher. There also will be games and door prizes.

Tickets are available until Sept. 23 by picking up forms at Uprise Bakery and Ragtag Cinema or Access Arts.

Where: Orr Street Studios, 106 Orr St.

When: Oct. 8. The reception will be from 5-6 p.m. and the party will follow from 6-9:30 p.m.

The organization's mission is to make art accessible to every person in the community. It holds more than 200 classes yearly, offers financial scholarships and provides adaptive equipment for people with disabilities.

Local architect Hurst John, who had a son with cerebral palsy, established the organization in 1971 when he realized there were few opportunities available to people with varying levels of ability, said Dennis Wright, president of the board of directors at Access Arts.

Access Arts classes include weaving, photography, mixed media, clay, music and writing, to name a few.

“It’s true of little kids and old geezers like me — none of us outgrow the feeling of creating things with our own hands and saying, ‘Look what I made,’” Wright said.

Access Arts serves more than 2,000 people in the Columbia area, according to its website.

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