Resilient Community Arts in Easthampton to double space, expand programming

  • Maddie McDougall, the co-founder and director of Resilient Community Arts in Easthampton, works with Adira Mahon-Kolba, 8, in early 2022. The nonprofit is doubling its space inside the Eastworks building, which will enable it to expand programming. gazette file photo

  • Resilient Community Arts Co-Founder Maddie McDougal helps a young participant make a mosaic during a workshop at a fundraiser last summer. The nonprofit is doubling its space inside the Eastworks building, which will enable it to expand programming. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 1/4/2023 10:57:11 AM
Modified: 1/4/2023 10:56:22 AM

EASTHAMPTON — After a little over a year in operation, a city arts nonprofit organization is expanding and relocating to a bigger space.

Resilient Community Arts, which has made it its mission to sustain collective efforts for social progress and equity through affordable arts programming, has announced it is moving to the second floor within the Eastworks building.

The new space will provide twice the size of the nonprofit’s current space as well as a more centralized location in the building, according to Maddie McDougall, director of the organization.

“The new space is going to offer a lot of growth for RCA as an organization and the individual artists involved in our work,” she said. “We’ll be able to offer more space, equipment, and support to our studio members, who can get 24/7 studio access to pursue their own artistic practice.”

Resilient Community Arts, which functions as a nonprofit through a fiscal sponsorship with the Pioneer Valley Project in Springfield, credits its expansion and new location to “immense support” from donors, studio members and community members.

Founded by McDougall & Grace Vo in the summer of 2021, Resilient Community Arts offers subsidized programming for people with an interest in art, but haven’t had access to opportunities. The organization provides programming in several different forms of media, including painting, drawing, printmaking, macramé and fiber arts.

Over the summer of 2021, the entity spent that summer fundraising and offering outdoor public art-making experiences in Easthampton, Holyoke, and Springfield.

In September, Resilient Community Arts moved into a studio space on the ground floor of Eastworks

In a previous interview with the Gazette, McDougall set a goal to have at least 60% of program participants enrolled at Resilient Community Arts come from low-income households.

Moving forward, the organization says that expansion will also support a larger members program where individuals from all ages and backgrounds will have access to the studio, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and several undisclosed “perks” for $40 per month.

The new studio is equipped with a sink and more equipment to meet the needs of its participants through all-ages workshops, youth and teen programs, and a Queer/Trans Art Group as well as a Womxn’s Support Group.

“The revamped studio members program is going to be a beautiful addition to our already full calendar of youth, family, and public studio programs,” said McDougall. “We’re so thrilled to continue to grow as an organization in a way that is so aligned with our mission.”

The nonprofit will be moving over the course of several days and has advertised volunteer openings to help move on Sunday, Wednesday, Jan. 11, Saturday, Jan. 14, and Saturday, Jan. 21. To help with the move, visit resilientcommunityarts.org/get-connected.

Those who are unable to volunteer, but would still like to support the move can make donations at https://linktr.ee/RCAdonations.

Resilient Community Arts will be hosting a ribbon-cutting grand opening celebration on Saturday, Feb. 18 at noon.

Emily Thurlow can be reached at ethurlow@gazettenet.com.
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