Annual Meeting takes a look at Bonifas' progress

October 24, 2015  |  by Bonifas Arts Center
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Members of the Bonifas board reflected on the past year and tried out the new fundraising theme, "We are the Bonifas!" at the art center's Annual Meeting Friday.

Executive and Gallery Director Pasqua Warstler said 2015 was a time of outreach and growth.

"Last year at this point, we were under the watchful eye of our business manager, Melissa Ekberg, and this is a note of appreciation for her work in organizing our accounting systems and establishing an improved tracking and reporting systems. These improvements put us in good stead as we move forward with action plans growing the membership and sponsorship," she said.

"As we move forward to fiscal year 2015-16, it is a time of welcome to Sue Roll, who is taking up the charge as business director and Brook McGinnis, events coordinator. We welcome Craig Woerpel as the creative energy behind our website reconstruction and the guru of the ever-growing Facebook feature."

Warstler said the art center is eagerly looking forward to a robust year of continued community collaborations.

  • Shared marketing for summer events with the city of Escanaba and Downtown Development Authority
  • Open dialogue in the area of neighborhood redevelopment and in working to define the arts and culture corridor
  • Continued school-based programs that reinforce current curriculum standards

The Bonifas continues to work on facility improvements.

  • The facility focus has been on long term improvements and includes a successful capital improvements grant for repair of the stage's fly system
  • Priorities include upgrading theater bathrooms to be handicap assessable

An effort is being made to growing the financials at the Bonifas.

  • Continuing the generous support from Thrivent members with their access to grant funds through the Choice Dollars and ActionTeam initiatives
  • Continuing aggressive grant writing with a newly forming grant writing team
  • Developing a legacy campaign
  • Growing members and sponsors with our "We are the Bonifas" campaign

Warstler also said the Bonifas is working on arts advocacy by building and strengthening alliances throughout the state and refreshing dialogue downstate with Lansing regarding shared interests and building the visibility of the culture of the Upper Peninsula.

Retiring board members Pat Rudden and Al Strom were recognized for their service to the Bonifas. Newly elected board members were Tom England, Jason Davidson, Tom Knoll and Marnie Anderson.

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