By Michael J. ARVIZU
Roy Mueller, McGroarty Arts Center executive director, wants his organization to step away from being the city’s best-kept secret to being the community’s best-known place. And to do so, Mueller spoke about the recent McGroarty Arts Center $11,300 matching gift, awarded by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.
“This is a unique opportunity,” Mueller said, “We are looking for support from other areas we have not known before.”
The McGroarty Arts Center in Tujunga is slated to receive $22,600 in total if it can first meet the challenge of raising $11,300 to match the award given by the arts commission.
Mueller said the McGroarty Arts Center board has challenged itself to raising $25,000 “to help boost the organization.”
With the award, he said, the McGroarty Arts Center will have the opportunity to expand its array of art workshops, hire new instructors and grow its organizational support, allowing it to continue to be a unique fixture in the Crescenta Valley.
Over 10% of the $11,300 has been raised, with 20% to 30% expected to by the end of last week, said Susan Bowen, McGroarty Arts Center director of Communications and Development.
Founded in 1953, McGroarty Arts Center is located in the former home of John Steven McGroarty and his wife, Ida Lubrecht McGroarty. Born in Pennsylvania in 1862, McGroarty moved to Tujunga in 1901.
A poet, playwright, journalist and teacher, McGroarty was named the first poet laureate of California maintaining the title until his death in 1944. He also served on the House of Representatives.
Today, McGroarty Arts Center offers a variety of art classes, workshops, events and exhibitions, ranging from all-day summer camps for kids to hands-on water coloring and ceramics classes for adults.
“It is as much about the art as it is about the community that is formed because of the people who have met here,” Mueller said about the center’s patrons and students. “People come from all walks of life. We serve kids … we also cater to adults. It’s really a variety of folks that use McGroarty.”
For more information on how to donate, visit the McGroarty Arts Center website at www.mcgroartyartscenter.org.