December 19, 2014
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'Arts for all' events to raise funds to replace museum wheelchair lift

The Warwick Museum of Art (WMOA) has unveiled “Arts for All!” a multi-faceted community-based fundraising campaign to replace a vertical platform lift to ensure all visitors can access the museum easily and safely in the future.

According to WMOA Board of Directors President Deb Mercer,

the lift, over 20 years old and open to weather, was vandalized earlier this year. An inspection by the manufacturer determined the lift was obsolete and would need to be completely replaced – at a cost of roughly $28,000.

After learning about the broken lift, the city generously provided a $10,000 Community Development Block Grant to help pay for its replacement. The board has been seeking other grant opportunities, Mercer said.

Replacement of the lift is particularly crucial as the museum continues to grow. During 2012, the arts center showcased more than 250 original works by artists from New England and 26 different countries in 12 separate exhibits, all of which were open to the public. The museum, housed in an armory listed on the National Register of Historic Places, also hosts a weekly “Bring Your Own Improv” night, adult art classes, special events, and children’s art camps. It has been used for community events and meetings as well.  

“The WMOA has spent years making the arts available to all residents with free exhibits and receptions,” Mayor Scott Avedisian said in a statement. “The renovation that was completed several years ago transformed the armory into a welcoming place for the community to enjoy. The city recognizes how important replacement of the lift is to ensure accessibility for all and to ensure that the museum continues to operate as a local arts and cultural resource.”

“The ‘Arts for All!’ campaign offers a number of affordable and fun ways for residents and the business community to help us reach our fundraising goal,” Mercer said. “I encourage people to attend these events and stop by the museum to learn more about us.”

Now through December there are several ways residents can help WMOA raise funds: 

"Boston Arts Overnight" Super Raffle - now through Oct. 18

The package includes a deluxe room for two from Courtyard by Marriott, two tickets to a live theatre performance by Arts Emerson, and admission for two to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; $10 buys 2 tickets and the winner will be announced at the Wine Tasting but does not have to be present.

"Wine Tasting Fundraiser" - Friday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.

With fine wines and microbrews by Bottles, a bountiful hors d'oeuvres buffet by Music Lane Café and local chefs, and exciting raffle baskets by local merchants, this is a fun TGIF event. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased in person or ordered by phone with MasterCard or Visa.

"Creativity is Contagious" Silent Auction Item - now through Dec. 21

The 23 artists of West Bay Open Studios (WBOS) created a one-of-a-kind fused glass panel of Albert Einstein's famous quote, "Creativity is Contagious: Pass it On." The colorful collage is installed in the main gallery; all proceeds will be split between WMOA and WBOS.

Purchase Artwork from the Main Gallery - now through Dec. 21

The original artwork hung in the main gallery is always for sale and proceeds are split between the artists and WMOA; and starting Dec. 1, purchases of original art will be exempt from R.I. sales tax – just in time for  holiday gift giving.

Make a Donation to Fund the Wheelchair Lift - now through Dec. 31

Send a check written to Warwick Museum of Art in any amount ("wheelchair lift" noted) or drop by with cash or check during gallery hours. Contributions are tax-deductible and donors will receive a receipt from WMOA for their records.

For more info, call WMOA at 737-0010 during business hours (Tuesday & Thursday 12:30 to 8 p.m.; Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.) or visit www.warwickmuseum.org.


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