Open House at the Library

The “Meet and Greet” open house at the Martinsburg Library yesterday was a great success. More than 20 people came in to learn about the Arts Council’s programs and to offer their ideas about what is needed in the arts community.

The Journal sent photographer Ron Agnir to get some shots and they are posted on the Journal web site.

Malinda Shaver gave a short welcome talk to the group and said “One of the most important things we need to do is communicate. That’s the reason we set up this meeting. We will continue to communicate to the arts community and we hope that the arts community will continue to communicate to us.”

Those who came to the meeting also were able to pick up information about the Arts Council’s January 30 Artisan Workshop on the Business of Art as well as information about the West Virginia Commission on the Arts grants programs.

Grant Writing Workshop

Grant Writing Workshop
Debbie Haught speaks to a room full of artists and arts organizers during the grant writing workshop at the Martinsburg Library

Debbie Haught, the Community Arts Coordinator for the WV Division of Culture and History (WVDCH) braved a winter storm to drive from Morgantown to Martinsburg to keep her date with 18 artists and arts organizers and deliver an excellent three and a half hour workshop on the grant programs at the WV Commission on the Arts. In spite of the weather, the room was nearly full and there was a lot of energy being generated as one after another heard about the grant opportunities. The Berkeley Arts Council and the Martinsburg Berkeley County Library hosted the event.

Debbie started by discussing some general tips for writing successful proposals, and then worked through most of the long list of grant programs offered by the WVDCH. The programs run from “mini-grants” that are designed to support small, one-time events up to cultural facilities grants of half a million dollars or more.

Of particular interest were the Professional Development Grants that are available to individual artists and artisans who wish financial assistance that will help them move to the next level with their art. The program can support learning activities, such as workshops, or the purchase of a critical piece of new equipment that will give the artist the ability to increase the quality of their art.

Debbie distributed information and grant application packages. She told us that the WVDCH web site was currently under revision and that within a few weeks all of this information and forms will be available for download, in time for the upcoming deadlines.

The major deadlines are February 1 (for the Professional Development Grant), March 1 for the majority of grants for programs and organizational support, with a few special grants pushed to April 1.

All in all, everyone who participated thought the presentation was excellent and everyone seemed to be ready to go home and start brainstorming for grantable ideas.

Watch this web site for more information and links to grant program information and application forms on the WVDCH web site as soon as they have completed the updating.

Welcome to ArtBerkeley

The Berkeley Arts Council would like to welcome ArtBerkeley as our first organizational “Partner in the Arts.”

ArtBerkeley was formed in 2006 and has grown to be the largest organization of artists, for artists in Berkeley County, if not the region.

In the past year, ArtBerkeley has organized exhibits for their members in The Arts Centre, the Dunn Building, and in numerous windows throughout downtown Martinsburg. In addition, ArtBerkeley organized the very successful Earth Day Festival in War Memorial Park last April, and is planning to make it even bigger and better next April.

We hope that the Arts Council can partner with ArtBerkeley in the years to come in a way that will amplify their efforts to expand the opportunities for artists to display their work and enhance the presence of the arts in Martinsburg and Berkeley County.

For more information about ArtBerkeley, check out their web site at

January 30, 2010: Mark Your Calendar

If you are an artist or artisan who wants know more about exhibiting and selling your work, save this date for an Artisan Resource workshop on the business of art, hosted by the Berkeley Arts Council, with product and marketing specialists from Tamarack, “The Best of West Virginia” in the morning.

Afternoon sessions will focus on specific issues, with local experts in finance, web technology, gallery “awareness” and more. Comfort Inn, Martinsburg; Free to BAC members; $10 for Non-members. Registration and information at events on Dec. 5 and 12, and online later in December, or email information (at) berkeleyartswv (dot) org.

Meet Your Arts Council, December 12

Meet Your Arts Council: Open House, Saturday December 12, 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

The Berkeley Arts Council board and officers welcome a visit from those who create art in any form (2D or 3D, music, dance, theatre, poetry, etc.) and those who want to encourage the arts in our community. Meet the Council, learn about our programs and plans. Introduce yourself, tell us about your interests and explore how you might be part of Amplifying the Arts. Martinsburg Room, Queen St. entrance to Library.

Arts Council to host WV grant writing workshop

If you are new to the WV state arts grants process, if you find it puzzling or intimidating, you definitely should plan to attend this workshop.  Or if you need to find out about changes affecting your application next year, put December 5 on your calendar.  Schedule too busy?  Team up with someone who can make it.  The Arts staff from the Commission on the Arts will be in Martinsburg to answer questions in person.  Grant deadlines will be here before you can blink.

The meeting is free and open to the public and will last three hours.

The details:  Saturday, December 5, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Martinsburg room of the downtown Library.  Reservations for the December 5 session are not required but appreciated. For
information on the grant writing workshop in Martinsburg, contact the Berkeley Arts Council by email:

Here is the full Press Release.

The Berkeley Arts Council will be scheduling more of these opportunities to help artists and arts organizations with the resources you need to weather today’s challenges.

Berkeley Arts Council Elects Board, Adopts Bylaws

Text of the press release:

For Immediate Release
October 9, 2009

Berkeley Arts Council Elects Board, Adopts Bylaws

The Berkeley Arts Council has elected its first Board of Directors and completed the process of finalizing and adopting its bylaws.

Malinda Shaver, who was a co-chair of the organizing committee, was elected President of the Board. Shaver said “We are really excited about the quality people that have been attracted to our new organization. The Board members and several others who will be working with us bring an incredibly strong skillset to bear on the task of building a great resource for Berkeley County.”

The other officers are Barbara Bradley, Vice President; Paula Frank, Treasurer; and Rip Smith, Secretary. Other Board members are Leia Wood, Lori Rea, and Kristin Nelson.

Shaver said “The Arts Council continues to reach out to a wide range of artists, community leaders, and arts organizations with the proposition that if we all work together we can build a robust arts community based on communication and collaboration. We are seeking ways to support existing programs and institutions, and innovative ways to amplify the arts in the whole community.”

Co-chair Rip Smith added, “We have seen how arts councils have helped to build successful arts communities in neighboring Morgan, Jefferson, and Hampshire counties. We felt it was time to fill the gap and bring Berkeley County in line with our neighbors.”

The goals of the Berkeley Arts Council are to champion the arts in Berkeley County, to support practicing artists and local art organizations, to encourage economic development through the arts, and to facilitate the growth of our community into a regional arts destination. The Berkeley Arts Council welcomes members and audiences of every heritage, race, gender and belief; and will enable participation by those with special needs and challenges to the best of our ability.

Information about joining the Berkeley Arts Council is on their web site:


Amplifying the Arts in Our Schools

As the Berkeley Arts Council develops its reach into the community, we hope to discover opportunities that will benefit all area residents as well as local artists.  The New York Times had an article this morning that might be a clue for us:

The success of our school bond issue might open an opportunity for us.  Let’s explore it.  We need your help to do this.  Ideas are good, but to make it happen, we need people.  Join us!  You can post ideas and comments through this blog, or by email to information (at) berkeleyartswv (dot) org.   (By the way, we hope to foil the ‘bots that scan for email addresses by using this format).

Telling our Story and Growing our Organization

Wednesday was a great day all around.  First we got to broadcast the news about the Berkeley Arts Council courtesy of Cox Hollida Price, through their Business-to Business radio show. You can hear the recording on CHP’s web site. (To listen to the show or download the mp3 file, click on the link at the bottom of this post.)

And that evening, we made important strides by holding our first membership meeting, selecting seven Directors for the Board, and naming the four officers who will work to guide the BAC through its initial year.  The Directors are Barbara Bradley, Paula Frank, Kristin Nelson, Lori Rea, Malinda Shaver, Rip Smith, and Leia Wood.  There are four more spots open, allowing us to augment the strengths and specialties of this group by adding other people as we discover them during the coming months.  We’ll be introducing these wonderful volunteers to you in a few days through the web site.

The officers are Malinda Shaver, President; Barbara Bradley, Vice President; Rip Smith, Secretary; and Paula Frank, Treasurer. We will be working hard and looking for your support and assistance as we step off on this adventure.

Click here for the Cox Hollida Price radio program featuring the Berkeley Arts Council.

First Arts Council Meeting Set for September 23

UPDATE – SEPT 23:  Meeting is on as planned!  Time is 6:30 pm at the Caperton Station Community Room on E. Martin St.  See you there!

The first membership meeting of the Berkeley Arts Council is set for Wednesday, September 23. Please contact us via email at for the details if you wish to attend so we know how many people to expect and try to arrange a larger space if necessary.  Updates will be posted on the web site by 4 pm on Wednesday.

This will be an organizational meeting at which we will enroll members, elect an initial Board of Directors, and review the proposed bylaws.

The membership form is posted on the BAC web site here and a draft of the proposed bylaws is posted on the web site here.

Journal Coverage of City Club Presentation

For the second time in four days, the Berkeley Arts Council received coverage in the Journal. In the Journal for Thursday, September 17, there was a report about the presentation Rip and Malinda gave to the City Club luncheon the day before.

The article did a good job of reporting the most important points of the presentation, which emphasized building on the foundation of existing programs and institutions and developing cooperation among artists and arts groups.

The article is posted on the Journal web site.