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2023 Year in Review
  -  2023 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 2023.

2023

Exhibitions

  • 30 Days of Inspiration, our poem-a-day-matched-with-an-artwork for each day of April continued in 2023, 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 E.D.—Reimagine, Explore, Discover: Artists Share their Where exhibition and sale ran online and in-person June 1 through 30, featuring the work of over 80 regional artists that reflected inspiring places and personal art journeys.
  • In September, we hosted a successful exhibition of over 120 works created at seven participating wineries as part of the Bucks County Wine & Art Trail. The new Trail opened on November 1, featuring artwork by 21 regional artists on outdoor panels and limited-edition fine art note cards. A second exhibition of works featuring over 80 2023 Trail artists will be held at Freeman Hall in 2024.
Cheryl Bomba, "Universal Language" (RED Show)

Cheryl Bomba, “Universal Language” (RED Show)

Constance McBride, "Lonely Girl Room" (Sculpture Spotlight)

Constance McBride, “Lonely Girl Room” (Sculpture Spotlight)

Harry Boardman, "Feed Mill Hoist" (Member Gallery Page)

Harry Boardman, “Feed Mill Hoist” (Member Gallery Page)

Rodney Miller, untitled (Member Work)

Rodney Miller, untitled (Member Work)

Dore Vorum, "Spiraling Toward the Light" (30 Days of Inspiration)

Dore Vorum, “Spiraling Toward the Light” (30 Days of Inspiration)

Programs

  • We continued virtual Art of Marketing workshops in April, focused on “Putting Your Best Foot Forward,” hosted by Jane Ramsey, Gene Underwood, and guest speaker Josh Woodruffe.
  • We also continued our Literary Arts Salon program with poetry, fiction, and non-fiction readings 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 in 2023 included Jobert E. Abueva, Cheryl Baldi, Liz Chang, Joe Chelius, Grant Clauser, Terrence Culleton, Lynn Fanok, Robbin Farr, Chad Frame, Arlene Geller, Patricia Goodrich, Luray Gross, Sean Hanrahan, Bill Hemmig, Mary Jo Lo Bello Jerome, Vasiliki Katsarou, Judith Lagana, Joanne Leva, Lynn Levin, Elizabeth Luciano, Tom Mallouk, Anna Maria Manalo, Judith McNally, Margaret Montet, Jennifer Nelson, Steve Nolan, Ethel Rackin, David R. Roth, Lynda Gene Rymond, Hayden Saunier, Roy Smith, Wendy Fulton Steginsky, Linda C. Wisniewski, Bill Wunder, and No River Twice. (Forgive us if we have left anyone out!)
  • Art Shares continued with informal gatherings on the Freeman Hall porch. Visual artists from throughout the region brought work to share and get feedback.
  • Arts & Drafts social gatherings met four times throughout the year. These events were opportunities 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.
  • We continued the Sculpture Spotlight program at the Township Library of Lower Southampton with works by Modern Fossils and Constance and Bernadette McBride.
  • We also collaborated with the Township Library of Lower Southampton and member artists Constance and Bernadette McBride to present a visual and literary arts talk, “The Impact of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia and The Lonely Girls Exhibition.”
  • Our Lit/Arts Salon program joined Poet’s Corner Open Mic at the Doylestown Library.
  • We were a Community Sponsor for the 32nd annual Doylestown Art Festival, and our booth there was a big success, featuring artworks by Michael Ast, Elissa Goldberg, Addie Hocynec, Lynn Miller, Pamela Parsons, Francisco Silva, and Stefanie Silverman.
  • Leff Family Foundation continued 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 Allianceand Americans for the Arts on arts advocacy issues.

A&C Website

  • We featured 111 artists and arts organizations on our member gallery pages in 2023.
  • 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.

Expanded Reach

  • We recruited over 100 member volunteers to assist with exhibitions, events, the Doylestown Arts Festival, the newsletter, and social media.
  • We welcomed over900,000 visitors to our website in 2023.
  • We grew our Facebook likes to 2600, our Facebook following to over 2900, and our Instagram following to over 1827.
  • 16% of our membership is now comprised of literary artists.
  • We ended 2023 with 325+ 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.

A New Era for the Council Continues

  • Board President Ruth Anderson, Vice President Jane Ramsey, and Board member Vincent Hawley resigned from the Board in 2023.
  • After a long illness, Director Emeritus Ed Matzkin passed away. He will be remembered with honor.
  • Four new Board members—Deborah Kostianovsky, Louise Levy, Julie Standig, and Melissa Sullivan—joined the Board in September 2023.
  • The A&C formed The Transition Leadership Team to manage the work of the Council while waiting for Board officer elections in spring of 2024.
  • 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 2023.

On behalf of the entire A&C Board of Directors and membership, we wish you all the best in 2024.

We couldn’t do it without you.