2023 Capital Campaign
Help us finish what we started!
Dear Friends of OCAF,
First, many thanks for your continuing support of the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation. Each time you renew your membership, attend one of our workshops, events, and exhibitions, or make a monetary donation, you directly support our mission of supporting cultural arts, artists, and art education to the citizens of Oconee County and northeast Georgia.
Over the last 18 months, we have been busy restoring and expanding the three historic buildings that make up the OCAF campus. We are reaching out to you today to update you on that work and ask you to consider making a donation to help us continue making much needed improvements to our facilities.
Rocket Hall has been the primary focus of our restoration efforts. We began work with a Cultural Facilities Grant from Georgia Foundation for the Arts and a sizable donation from Ed and Beverly Phares to complete more than $500,000 work of repairs and rehabilitation on this important community focal points. Those foundational repairs to Rocket Hall included regrading surrounding landscape for water deferment, gutter installation, water and mold/mildew mitigation in crawl space, installation of moisture barriers, repaid of foundational beams and supports, replacement of floors, and bleacher restoration. While Rocket Hall is now structurally sound, we still have to work on the foyer to create a more welcoming and comfortable entrance way for visitors. We will also be expanding the garden space in front of Rocket Hall, funded by a donation from the Norville Family in honor of Hallie M. Norville and Zack Norville, Jr. to make it a more relaxing and inviting space.
School Street Studio, the space that houses our pottery studio, the University of North Georgia classroom, and serves as the primary space where our classes and workshops are held, now has a beautiful new gathering space – the Gail and Chester Karwoski Galley Kitchen. The addition of this space expanded our square footage and gave us a much needed break area. Many thanks to the Karwoskis for investing in OCAF in a way that makes our space so much more welcoming to visitors and students. While we’re finishing up a few punch items list, that space is nearly ready for a ribbon cutting, so stay tuned! As part of that project, we also upgraded the SSS bathroom, enclosed the electrical work, polished the lobby floor, and put a fresh coat of paint on the front door! We still have a great deal of work to do in SSS to add a long ramp to the back of the building, add two additional bathrooms, repurposed the “dirt room” – a project begun by Rotary Club of Oconee County who added a floor to that space just before the pandemic – and create additional classroom, office, and welcome area spaces.
Of course we have added the beginning of what will one day be an expansive garden and reflection area to the space behind SSS – the Yukiko Marable Memorial Garden. We look forward to watching that garden bloom, grow, and expand. This garden was initiated by OCAF founding member Bob Marable to honor his late wife as part of his life estate gift. We are so please to be able to add beauty to this place that the Marable family literally brought to life through their hard work and dedication more than 30 years ago.
As we look ahead, we have work to do on our 1902 Building, home to our gallery spaces. As part of the planned renovations, we will be upgrading the patio area that leads to the Sculpture Garden thanks to a generous donation from Frank and Rosemary Stancil. We are also working hard to raise money to address some foundational issues to that area at the same time. Our future list of projects include redoing the 1902 kitchen, something our reception volunteers are very excited about, and replacement of some of our floors.
We have done a lot, but there is still so much more to be done! We humbly ask you to consider making a donation in any amount to help us keep up the momentum of our work. You can make a donation now via check, credit card, or stock/property transfer. We would also be happy to talk with you about how you can include OCAF in your estate planning to magnify your support of this gem in our community.
If you would like to make a donation, you may do so by visiting our office or online at www.ocaf.com.
Again, thank you for your continued support.
Dr. Cyndee Perdue Moore
OCAF Board Chair
OCAF Executive Director
This project is supported in part by Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. Georgia Council for the Arts also receives support from its partner agency–the National Endowment for the Arts.