President Joan C. Lester’s August 2013 letter to the Membership

Hello Everyone.
Wasn’t July a month to break all heat records in Connecticut, and we were here to experience it! The ancient Romans spoke of the “dog days” of summer in July, blamed on Sirius, the dog star that rose at sunrise and led to hot sultry weather. In fact, modern Romans do the same. During the 24 years that we lived in Italy, 19 of them in Rome, everyone who could, literally, escaped to the Castelli, the hill towns outside Rome where affluent Romans have had summer villas over the ages and where it was always degrees cooler than in the city. Even without a villa’s garden, just sitting in a piazza sipping white wine and looking out over the hills to Rome made for a calmer, cooler feeling. Now if only Marlborough had some hill towns nearby…

But we are in August and the weather will change again. The Arts Center has changes also. We have a blue grass group, The Grass Routes, playing at the “4th Friday at the Arts Cafe” on Friday, August 23, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Come early and settle in for a delightful evening of music in the intimate environs of the Art Gallery. Remember it is BYOWine, but we have freshly brewed coffee/tea, soft drinks, and home-made cookies available.

Two days later we will be participating in Marlborough Day on Sunday, August 25 at Blish Park and hope you stop to greet us at our table where we’ll have another interactive art project. Last year our artist member Susan Whitehouse designed a huge sunflower painting made up of smaller squares that individuals could paint. Children, and their adults, loved painting their square and then seeing it come together to form the complete painting. Many came back to paint more than one square. This year Susan has created a “Lilies of the Field” theme which should be great fun.

This summer has been a time to reflect as we plan activities for the year. It has also been a time to reflect on our past and the founding of the Marlborough Arts Center. To that end I am pleased to announce that Betty Keister, one of the Founders and our second President, agreed to write a history of the Arts Center. We have many pictures of moving the Charles W. Hall building to our present location, all the volunteers who gave so freely of their time and expertise to make it what it is today, and other celebratory moments. We do not have a written history though and Betty has once again volunteered her knowledge and skills to fill this void. She would appreciate hearing from all of you who have memories of the “early” days as she begins her writing. We know there are hundreds of stories out there, so please do share them with her – and eventually with all of us members.

One last request. Many of you have indicated when filling our annual membership forms that you would like to volunteer your time – some of your time – offering your myriad skills, but are not sure what to offer and would prefer to be asked for something specific.

Well, I am asking. We are in need of assistance in two areas: (1) gardening & (2) fund raising.

For the former if you have 1-2 hours you could give in helping the Facilities Committee in getting our gardens more in order, that would be a very big help indeed. If you could come more often, all the better, but just a couple of hours by a few people can make all the difference to us. Those dog days may have dragged us down, but the flowers and weeds flourished and need attention.

As for fund raising, we are working through sub-committees on long-range planning and would appreciate benefiting from the expertise we know some of you have. If you could be on a sub-committee with a single focus such as marketing or grant writing, or are one of those people who always has creative, stimulating ideas, we’d appreciate hearing from you.

Hearing from you means calling the Arts Center’s telephone at (860) 295-9389 and leaving a message. Believe me, we will have the appropriate Board Member get back to you!

We really want to know our members more personally, and are opening up our Board Meetings every other month to the general membership. If you’d like to come in person, put Tuesday, September 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the Art Gallery down on your calendars now. After the business portion of the meeting we plan Open Discussion time and invite your thoughts and responses. I’m mentioning this now in my August letter because this September meeting is the day after Labor Day and I want to be sure you can plan ahead and attend.

I look forward to seeing you then and at August’s activities too.

Joan Lester, President