Highland News Leader

Highland Arts Council’s Treehouse art gallery idea gets $10,000 nest egg

An artist’s rendering shows the Highland Arts Council’s proposed Treehouse Art Gallery at Lindendale Park.
An artist’s rendering shows the Highland Arts Council’s proposed Treehouse Art Gallery at Lindendale Park. Courtesy image

The country’s leading funder of art has given the Highland Arts Council a stamp of approval on its proposed “Treehouse” gallery in the form of a $10,000 grant.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) recently announced announced Highland’s grant as part of more than $27.6 million in its first funding round for fiscal year 2016.

“We are thrilled that the National Endowment for the Arts found our idea for a creative space as a valuable way to bring the arts to more people in our area,” said Highland Arts Council president Lynnette Schuepbach. “The NEA sees thousands of good ideas, and we are honored to be a part of that group.”

The plan is to have the new gallery at Lindendale Park, which is owned by the Helvetia Sharpshooters and plays host to the Highland Arts Council’s Art in the Park each October.

The building and its massive decks would be built around and within the trees, but not dependent upon the health of the trees. Most of the building would be open space, ready to be used for exhibits, rehearsals, recitals, educational experiences (Art of Soul), small plays, weddings, receptions or other events.

The “uniqueness and beauty” of the building would make it a perfect destination for bringing visitors into the community and exposing them to the arts, Schuepbach said.

“Although the award will not pay for the construction of the building, it will be the seed money for its design to kick off the project. We hope that the community will see the value of creative thinking in business, decorating, and the pleasure of creating and will begin to back the project financially,” Schuepbach said.

The Highland Arts Council’s grant was awarded through NEA’s Challenge America category, which supports projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Challenge America grants are comparatively small investments that have a big impact in their communities.

“The arts are part of our everyday lives — no matter who you are or where you live — they have the power to transform individuals, spark economic vibrancy in communities, and transcend the boundaries across diverse sectors of society,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu said. “Supporting projects like the one from Highland Arts Council offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

About the Highland Arts Council

The Highland Arts Council is a not-for profit community organization based dedicated to promoting the arts within the community. The HAC produces an annual art fair known as Art in the Park and sponsors other art-related events and exhibitions.

For more information, highlandartscouncil.org.