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

Hello All,

At our Annual Meeting in June I was elected the 9th President of the Marlborough Arts Center, and if you read down the list of Past Presidents in the Membership Directory it will be evident why I am honored to join these women. They have led our organization from a dream of a regional arts center into the ever-growing reality it is today with almost 150 members. And it’s our volunteers and members who care and support the arts that make it all possible. As much as I hope to greet each one of you in person some day, in the meantime I will chat with you every month through the electronic ease of these “Lester Letters” to keep you current with what is happening.

And there is always something happening, even over the quieter summer months. The next time you pass the Arts Center, do stop and see our newest addition, the charming Stegosaurus outside near the front steps. It is a minimalist sculpture by Neal Alderman, a Board of Directors award-winning member artist and retired member of the UConn Faculty. There will be a naming contest in the fall, but some of us have nicknamed him “Steggy” for now. A second outdoor sculpture is in the planning stages, this one by Jim Grabowski, another award-winning artist and Board of Directors member. I’ll keep you informed of its progress in future letters.
Not only stop and look, but do plan to stop and attend our very successful monthly “4th Fridays @ the Arts Cafe” musical evenings which I’m happy to say do not go on summer vacation. The next musician will be Stephen Donovan, a classically trained pianist who will present on July 26. Over the past two years, a wide range of musicians have entertained on these Friday evenings: from a solo cabaret singer to an 8-piece band, with music covering all genres. Regardless of their specialties, all the artists have said they love the ambience of our beautiful Charles W. Hall Gallery, the great acoustics, and the close interaction with the audience. People who come really enjoy the variety of the music and the spirit of camaraderie. One woman told me that she loved classical music, but came “just for something to do one evening” and found herself singing along with some folk songs and having fun she hadn’t expected. She and many others come regularly regardless of the style of the music. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, like participating in a musical evening in a lovely home. In fact, our Arts Center is a lovely home belonging to us as members, so do come and enjoy music in our home.

Even without music in the background, your Board of Directors, listed on our website, meet monthly to plan our artistic activities and events for the year. You’ll read announcements in the news media and art guides as always. However, I invite you to also check out our website,, for current details. Our website is undergoing changes, so keep checking in to see how it moves to include more interesting information about our volunteers and artists, as well as about our history.
Even more, I invite you to share your ideas and comments with me and other Board members. Call me; my telephone number is in our 2013 Membership Directory. Also, all messages left on the Arts Center’s telephone answering machine at (860) 295-9389 will be forwarded to the appropriate Board Members. Whomever you call, call. We want to hear from you.

Remember, that without your support as members, there would be no beautiful building and grounds, no art shows and exhibitions, no musical evenings, no classes, no artistic events.

Simply, without our members there would be no Marlborough Arts Center.

With thanks, and wishing you all a Happy rest-of-July, I look forward to chatting with you again in August.