Putting art at the heart of a community strengthens people’s lives by moving beyond what was believed to be impossible. The renovation of the old building would say that our community has taken the first big step to come to terms with our past, establishing a bridge where we can begin to imagine a more vibrant, optimistic future. This old building is an invitation into a significant history of long ago and a reminder that time has brought us together.

The Arts facilitate interaction among people nearly forgotten in many rural areas and it plays a fundamental role in the rebuilding process. Most towns in this region of the northwest are underserved communities. There is a great need for some kind of intervention, and I believe, that the renovation of this old building qualifies. 

An art center not only drives foot traffic helping the local economy but generates new jobs. It engages youth, but that also has a dual objective of bringing more adults into the picture. Professional artists as mentors and instructors help build confidence and teach skills, as well as practical experience to young people and to seniors, too. Research shows that people who participate in the arts are more likely to participate in activities beyond the arts, like volunteering and civic engagement. The arts benefit visitors and community members by increasing curiosity, empathy, and awareness resulting in the ability to make connections with people who aren’t like them. 

This old building is not just a building. It tells us stories. Stories that help us create new interpretations. Right now in this increasingly broken world, this old building is an abandoned image of hope that craves to be restored. I believe structures like this one have immense powers to heal, lift our spirits and restore our dignity as a vital community. 

Please, donate at the bottom of the page and help us restore the old building as a cornerstone for Surprise Valley. Thank you.