Eight counties | 36 cities | one region

a voluntary council of local governments
serving the missouri meramec area.

Art Works on Main receives $250 community grant for classroom renovations

For immediate release

For more information, contact
Maria Bancroft

ST. JAMES—Meramec Regional Community Foundation (MRCF) awarded Art Works on Main Gallery of Owensville a $250 grant for its classroom renovation project. The check was presented at MRCF’s invite-a-friend luncheon March 7 at MRPC in St. James. This year, the MRCF board reviewed a total of 21 grant applications requesting a total of $5,500 and representing projects in Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties. Art Works on Main was one of six projects selected for funding.

Art Works on Main Gallery, located in a 100-plus year-old building at 113 N. 1st St. in Owensville, strives to promote the arts through education, exhibits and outreach while providing a venue that will also enhance the historic downtown.  Currently, the gallery provides classes and craft events throughout the year, but in order to do that they must move everything out of the middle of the gallery and set-up tables. With the grant funds, they are hoping to renovate a work room into a classroom space by adding heating and a utility sink.

“We are a small gallery that is just starting up, and we are a non-profit,” Joyce McGowan, Art Works on Main president, said. “Right now, the room is unheated and is basically like a stock room. We are looking for shelving and eventually we will have a space heater and some new lights. We just need the space to accommodate our classes. When we hold classes now, we clear the center of the gallery for our classes and its very inconvenient. This was really important to get us started.”

Other recipients, receiving $250, include:

  • The Ya Ya’s of Belle in Maries County for park and arena improvements,
  • Caledonia Community Foundation in Washington County for village park improvements,
  • Dent County Community Foundation for clean-up and beautification projects,
  • University of Missouri Extension – Crawford County for an artist and farmer rendezvous project, and
  • CASA of South Central Missouri for a recruitment event in Maries County.

MRCF is an outgrowth of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) and is an affiliate of Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) in Springfield. The regional affiliate was formed in 2010. Its 12-member board includes representation from each of the eight Meramec counties and from MRPC. Vicki Lange of Osage County serves as president of MRCF.

Currently, MRCF has 59 funds totaling over $1.39 million.

CFO is a public foundation serving the Missouri Ozarks. The foundation’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in the region through resource development, community grant-making, collaborations and public leadership. Formed in 1973, CFO has since grown to include 49 affiliate community foundations and more than 3,200 charitable funds totaling approximately $285 million in assets, as of June 30, 2017.

MRPC, in addition to establishing the regional foundation and providing the initial investment to create a grant program, provides staff support to MRCF.

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 23, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to MRCF for its grant making efforts or interested in establishing their own fund can contact Maria Bancroft at MRCF at mbancroft@meramecregion.org or by phone at 573-265-2993 Ext. 114.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.

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Photo: Joyce McGowan (left) and Sue Nichols of Art Works on Main Gallery accept the ‘big’ check and the real check from MRCF Chair Vicki Lange.