The board of directors of MRC Bundy, Inc., the nonprofit arts organization run by the Mad River Chorale Community Chorus which operates out of the Bundy Center for the Arts, has approved a three-month feasibility study, to be funded by $40,000 recently secured from a group of donors.This study will explore the creation of an arts-focused campus centered around Waitsfield's Bundy Gallery. Although complete details have not been released, the purchase of the Bundy Gallery (from Millstone Holdings, LLC.) and adjacent properties will be examined.
A public meeting will be held on Sunday, February 10, at 4 p.m. (with complimentary apres-ski fare served). The board of directors hopes that many members of the public will attend and express their opinions, concerns and hopes for what the new campus might provide to the community.
"During our four years at the Bundy we have had a number of professional musicians come to The Valley," said board of director's treasurer, Jane Hobart. "They have consistently enjoyed the beautiful natural surroundings and the level of hospitality they found here."
These factors would become the backdrop for an extensive blend of cultural activities ranging from chamber music camps and dance classes to watercolor workshops and sculpture garden tours.
"This expanded Bundy Center for the Arts would strive to create an atmosphere where visiting and local artists-in-residence, workshop participants and students would all feel comfortable teaching, learning and performing, and the resulting programs are expected to increase tourism in the Mad River Valley throughout the year," Hobart added.
There are three goals for the study: first, to see if the objectives outlined are agreeable to the community at large; second, to develop a sound business plan for the proposed programs; and, third, to assess the ability of the organization to raise the necessary funds to carry out the program.
Director Piero Bonamico has already begun this process. "People get really excited when I tell them about what we have planned," he said. "It is clear that our ideas represent the best kind of growth we can have in The Valley: programs that rehabilitate existing properties, create jobs and other economic stimulus, generate tourism, and utilize pre-existing local resources."
Bonamico continued, pointing out that the new program aligns well with the overall economic goals of the Vermont. "A lot of effort is being made by the state to establish Vermont as a center for the 'Creative Economy.' This program falls directly within that sphere. Although we are primarily interested in the arts, the proposed campus will also be suitable for a variety of conferences, workshops and so forth. Fundamentally the objective is that we produce creative traffic here in The Valley by establishing the fact that this is not only a wonderful place to enjoy athletic activities but also to learn, think and develop new ideas."
Drawing on 15 years of experience of the Mad River Chorale and four years in The Bundy Gallery, MRC Bundy, Inc. provides opportunities for people of all ages to experience and express themselves through art and music programming.
"Although the Bundy building allows the organization to provide concerts, cabarets, workshops, exhibits and private music lessons to the Mad River Valley communities, it has not allowed the organization to reach its potential," Bonamico said.
Board president Andrea Bonamico said, "We are maxed out! Of course not every concert is standing room only, but the majority are. Also, the educational programs that we want to provide are too extensive to be housed in one small building like the Bundy, however historic and attractive the space. If completed, a new campus could facilitate exciting long-range projects that would bring lots of new people to The Valley."
For more information about the study please call the Bundy at (802) 496-4781, or visit www.bundycfa.org .