BEND, OR -- Central Oregon’s only arts education and advocacy nonprofit announced Friday it’s closing for good after nearly 40 years; effective immediately. Bert Kronmiller, Board President for Arts Central, tells KBND News there were four main reasons for the closure. "We had a major donor whose financial support termed out; we didn’t meet our fundraising goals at the 2015 Black & White, although it was very well attended; of course, our Executive Director resigned this spring; and then, the lease at Art Station expires at the end of 2017. And, I probably don’t need to tell you what the real estate market is like here."
He says finding new funding to replace that lost revenue has been a struggle. "It doesn’t fit the mold of a social service organization so sometimes funding for organizations, especially arts organizations, is very difficult. Over the last 18 months, I think I’ve written nearly 30 grants, with limited success."
Kronmiller says the closure is a big loss for the community. "Arts Central and, specifically, Art Station was the only facility of its kind in Central Oregon, providing arts education to children through adults. And, our services spanned a four-county area. The loss of arts education programming, especially to children, is huge." The Arts Central Board will meet this week to discuss liquidating assets.