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2022 Year in Review
  -  2022 Year in Review

Jim Bongartz

We know that you share in our commitment to the powerful role the arts play in sustaining the community, in building resilience, in creating an atmosphere of joy and hope, creativity and inspiration.

We celebrate and reflect on our accomplishments in 2022.

2022

Exhibitions

  • 30 Days of Inspiration, our poem-a-day-matched-with-an-artwork for each day of April returned in 2022, in honor of National Poetry month. It was an enormous social media success, introducing the work of writers and visual artists in “conversation” with each other to a wide regional audience.
  • The R.E.D.—Reimagine, Explore, Discover: Henry Mercer and His Innovations exhibition and sale ran June 3 through July 17, featuring the work of over 80 regional artists that reflected Mercer’s actual creations as well as his passion for nature, craft making, tools, storytelling, history, travel, and innovation.
  • We hosted our annual Fall Salon Show at Freeman Hall from September 10 through October 2. The “Closer Look” program featured artist chats in the galleries and plein air painting on the lawn. On closing day, we held a book signing featuring literary artist members and a book drive for TreeHouse books in Philadelphia.

Programs

  • We continued virtual Art of Marketing workshops, focused on “Navigating Social Media” in March, hosted by Jane Ramsey and Susan Forker.
  • We also continued our Literary Arts Salon program at Freeman Hall. Relaxed talk-back sessions followed the readings along with time for writers to sign and sell their books and visual artists to talk about their work. Participating artists included Jean Burdick, Dante Del Vecchio, Elizabeth Esris, Chad Frame, Patricia Goodrich, Alice Sims Gunzenhauser, Bill Hemmig, Lynn Levin, Lynn Miller, Margaret Montet, Jennifer Nelson, Steve Nolan, Julie Standig, Nicole Steinberg, Cindy Roesinger, Stefanie Silverman, Cleveland Wall, and Bill Wunder.
  • In November, we concluded the year of Literary Arts Salons by celebrating the 2022 Bucks County High School Fiction and Poetry Winners Leo Burchell, Bethany Conover, Adam Dombrowski, Maria Kesisoglou, Rhianna Searle, and Pearl Smith, who read selections from their work.
  • In October we reignited the Arts & Drafts social gathering with a meeting at Aristaeus Craft Brewing Company in Langhorne, PA. This event was an opportunity to connect with arts enthusiasts at a Bucks County brewery for casual conversation and inspiration. 

Community partnerships

  • We maintained an ongoing relationship with Visit Bucks County while strengthening connections between the visual arts and tourism in Bucks County, particularly through the planning and implementation of the Bucks County Wine & Art Trail. The inaugural Trail opened on October 1, 2022 and kick off for the 2023 Trail began with 82 participating artists. An exhibition of works featuring all Trail artists will be held at Freeman Hall in September 2023.
  • We continued the Sculpture Spotlight program at the Feasterville Library in Lower Bucks County with works by Adam Capone and Kathleen McSherry.
  • We were a Community Sponsor for the 31st annual Doylestown Art Festival, and our booth there was a big success.
  • Photography Mondays, in partnership with the Moravian Pottery and Tileworks, provided regional artists with the opportunity to go behind the scenes at the Tileworks to prepare works for submission to the R.E.D. Show – Reimagine, Explore, Discover: Henry Mercer and his Innovations.
  • The Private Henry Mercer multimedia presentation by BCHS Vice President of Collections and Interpretation Cory Amsler was offered in conjunction with the R.E.D. Show.
  • Leff Family Foundation continues to advance the arts in the area by supporting the Council’s early initiatives at Freeman Hall. We are appreciative of their commitment to enriching the arts and promoting our mission throughout the Bucks County community.
  • We collaborated with the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and Americans for the Arts on arts advocacy issues.

A&C Website

  • Our website facilitates networking between artists, arts organizations, arts businesses, and the community. With the ability to expand as the A&C continues to grow, the website provides several features that will work to strengthen the regional arts community and become the go-to site for all our regional arts needs.
  • We featured 198 artists and arts organizations on our member gallery pages in 2022.

Expanded Reach

  • We recruited 99 member volunteers to assist with exhibitions, the Doylestown Arts Festival, the newsletter, and social media.
  • We welcomed over 900,000 visitors to our website in 2022.
  • We grew our Facebook following to almost 2400, our Instagram following to almost 1600.
  • 15% of our membership is now comprised of literary artists.
  • We ended 2022 with 305+ members.

Freeman Hall

  • A&C programs at Freeman Hall engaged artist members and the Bucks County community in educational initiatives, provided venues for meaningful arts and advocacy dialogue, and strengthened local and regional arts awareness through exhibition and sale opportunities, events, literary readings, artist talks, and forums.
  • We anticipate that in 2023, our second-floor meeting room will provide a venue for more intimate Art Shares, portfolio reviews, Coffee and Conversation, and more.

A New Era for the Council Continues

  • Five new Board members—Clifford Eberly, Christina Galagarza, Carol Gilbert, Ashara Shapiro, and Gene Underwood—will join our all-volunteer Board in January 2023.
  • With our Community Meeting Center at Freeman Hall, plans for exhibitions and events, increased programs, a dynamic educational series, literary readings, endless opportunities for members and the public to engage in our mission, and our forward-looking and progressive outlook, the Arts & Cultural Council is sure to serve the arts loving, Bucks County community well and into the future. 

Engaging programs, events, and meaningful community outreach helped us move forward and make Bucks County the best it can be in 2022.

On behalf of the entire A&C Board of Directors and membership, we wish you all the best in 2023.

We couldn’t do it without you.