Gallery Buys a Home

Photos by Pat Leigh

by Sybil Macapia

In 2006 Confluence Gallery’s landlords decided to sell the building where the art center had rented space for the past fourteen years. Could Confluence hope to raise over $400,000 and own its home? Although the task seemed daunting, the Board decided it must secure the gallery’s future and launched a capital campaign. In two years the campaign raised $420,000, bought the building, established a building maintenance and repair fund, and paid for the costs of the campaign. In March 2008, Confluence Gallery & Art Center became the debt-free owner of its home at 104 Glover Street in Twisp.

First, a committee of board members and community volunteers commissioned a building inspection, analyzed the costs and benefits of ownership, and recommended purchase. Next, the board committed to purchasing the building and recruited leadership for a capital campaign. The Capital Campaign Committee developed fundraising strategies, a timeline and budget. Committee members wrote grant applications, created materials for a mailing campaign to solicit individual donations, and planned fundraising events. Their talent and energy maintained a visible, focused and successful effort for two years, accomplishing the goal of debt- free building ownership on March 10, 2008.

The building owners themselves advocated for Confluence with a local foundation, which offered Confluence $165,000 as down payment on the building. A passionate leader of our arts community, Virginia Sparling, formed a Capital Campaign Committee to focus on fundraising and grant writing. Leaders of community organizations wrote letters of endorsement. Other foundations with regional ties supported our efforts by contributing $41,000. The Washington State Department of Trade and Economic Development granted $76,000 from their Building for the Arts Fund. Artists, performers and friends staged fundraising events. Over 240 individuals responded with donations ranging from $20 to $10,000.

Our biggest challenge came at the end of our campaign: How can Confluence thank everyone who donated to the capital campaign in a meaningful, permanent and artistic way? Ultimately, we called to artists for proposals. Tori Karpenko’s was chosen. He installed a riverbed of rocks and cobbles running along the exterior front of the building, converging at the entry door. In the center of the riverbed flows a narrow stream of stones, each engraved with the name of a donor. Tori’s artwork was inaugurated in a celebration on June 6, 2009. Donors and visitors express their delight with our new installation.

Sybil Macapia is Executive Director of the Confluence Gallery & Art Center. www.confluencegallery.com