GRAFTON—The Taylor County Arts Council, and Gallery 62 West, happily announced that they have been awarded funds, in the form of a grant, for much needed renovations.
The grant was obtained from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, after the City of Grafton and Taylor County Commission wrote letters to the organization, in support of the arts council.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an organization that is always looking for opportunities to promote, protect and preserve West Virginia’s heritage.
According to a volunteer for the gallery, Holly Hill, the $70,000 grant, they applied for in November 2016, is a God send, and will be used to replace the building’s roof.
“It is vital that we get a new roof on this beautifully historic building. If we don’t, there is a good possibility the building will have to be torn down,” commented Hill.
Hill further revealed that small plastic pools and buckets are currently being used to catch water leaking through the roof during heavy rains. The condition of the current roof is so poor, that leaking has caused all three floors of the building to suffer from water damage.
Members of the Taylor County Arts Council plan to also make repairs to the second and third floors after the roof is replaced.
“We couldn’t move forward if the roof continued to leak. Everyone knows when your roof leaks, you’ve incurred damage otherwise,” said Beth Flanery, Gallery 62 West Curator. “So this means we can keep this space, and that we can have those ongoing goals, as well as reach the community.”
According to Hill, the arts council still has to secure their obligation in terms of matching the grant, which is $10,000.
Hill reported that although ideas for fundraisers are still in works to raise this money, the idea of a GoFundMe account has been discussed. The council is hoping to have more ideas in the very near future to share with residents, who wish in helping them reach their goal, so they can better serve the community for generations to come.
“We also accept Paypal for donations, and we have already received several through this method,” added Hill.
The council also plans to sell homemade soups during February’s First Friday event. All proceeds from the evening will go towards the roof, as well.
The council also extended thanks to all those individuals and organizations that assisted in securing the grant including, The City of Grafton, The Taylor County Commission, Sally Harman, Sheila Westfall, Guy Moyer, Mandy Whitescarver, Jo Harman, Diane Parker, Andy Wharton, Marcie Steadman, Amy Summers, Kevin Stead, Ron Curry, Blaine Porter, Lorna Vincent, Carmello Tabone, Mary Shuttlesworth, Beth Keener-Flanery, Frannie Shaw, Amber Ross, and Deb White.
“Obtaining the grant, and raising the funds to match, would not have been possible without the help of these people and groups. It means so much to be able to save this building,” said Hill.