In 2014, 22 Board members, Charitable Trustees, staff, and community members came together for a strategic planning project at the James. This group identified the core “Beliefs” of the James Library & Center for the Arts and crafted a new Mission Statement:
“The mission of the James is to inspire creativity, learning, and an appreciation for the arts through music, visual, and literary programs, in a historic and welcoming space for the community.”
Four Strategic Objectives were created as a result of Strategic Planning:
• Resources and Revenues
The James cannot fulfill its mission if the building is accessible to only some of the community.
What will the Arts for Everyone Campaign provide for the James?
• A small addition in the back of the building housing an elevator (accessing all 3 floors), a small vestibule, and an elevator mechanical room (in the basement) and storage rooms (main floor and upstairs)
• An accessible side entrance (alterations to the existing side entry door) with a sloping pathway (not a typical ramp)
• Two new handicapped parking spaces
• A fully-accessible bathroom (in the existing location)
• A reconfigured back entry area, check-out desk, and back staircase
• A new septic system (required to replace the existing antique cesspool)
• New railings and a walkway at the historic front entry to increase accessibility at all entrances
• Full compliance with Massachusetts accessibility laws
The Arts for Everyone Campaign will also provide:
• An increase in programming to include more free and subsidized events so more people can access the arts
• An updated outdoor area which will include space for public art displays
• A renewed ability to collaborate with local governments and schools because of full compliance with accessibility laws
• An ability to partner with organizations that require better accessibility such as the Council on Aging and Friendship Home
• An increase in art gallery and library hours—increasing the James’ accessibility
• An increase in staff and volunteer hours to allow for more programming
Four Construction Phases
• Fall/Early Winter 2017: side entrance and handicapped parking spaces
• December 2017: bathroom renovation
• Summer 2018: elevator addition, interior reconfiguration
• Late Summer 2018: septic system
Project Cost: $430,000 (including a 25% contingency on all construction costs)
Bloomwhistle Charitable Fund Matching Challenge
The Bloomwhistle Charitable Fund has set forth a match challenge for individual donors, meaning that individual donations will be matched up to $200,000. This generous grant is meant to encourage community members to contribute at whatever level they are able, knowing that their individual gift will be doubled, and in some cases tripled. All personal donations of $1,000 and below are matched at a 2:1 ratio, and all personal donations over $1,000 are matched at a 1:1 ratio. Businesses and foundations are excluded from this matching grant.
The James’ mission statement calls us to “inspire creativity… in a historic and welcoming space for the community.” Arts for Everyone will allow the James to inspire the ENTIRE community—no matter their physical or financial ability.