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Sculpture Evergreen and Center for the Arts Evergreen are merging.
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Beginning Jan. 1, Center for the Arts Evergreen, which offers art classes, gallery exhibits and much more, will house Sculpture Evergreen, which hosts the yearly Sculpture Walk and maintains the permanent sculpture collection throughout Evergreen. The Sculpture Walk will continue, and CAE will maintain the 44 permanent sculptures in the collection.
“Center for the Arts Evergreen has been a focal point for art in Evergreen and doing an amazing job,” Tricia Rosenthal, Sculpture Evergreen’s president, told about 80 people at the annual fundraiser on Sept. 28. “We have been on similar paths for many years. We are both growing, both strong, both dedicated to making art an important part of people’s lives. Why not combine the two?”
She said that’s why the fundraiser was called “Together we bring sculpture to life” — to honor both Sculpture Evergreen’s and Center for the Arts Evergreen’s commitment to 3-D art. CAE will start building a wing onto its gallery for ceramics and sculpture and will create a sculpture garden.
Discussions about the two nonprofits merging have been going on for years, Lisa Nierenberg, CAE’s executive director, said.
“We want Sculpture Evergreen to stay alive and well,” she explained. “We are going to keep the legacy alive. What this volunteer organization has done in 25 years is unbelievable. As of Jan. 1, we will be one big happy family.”
Center for the Arts Evergreen was started in 1974 and its gallery was in a building next to the Buchanan Park Recreation Center until 2017, when the organization purchased and moved into the former Bergen Park Church. It has six employees.
Sculpture Evergreen was incorporated in November 1994 as Art for the Mountain Community to place sculptures in public places in the mountain area. The Sculpture Walk started in 1999, and the all-volunteer organization changed its name in 2014.
Rosenthal said in an interview that even though the details have not been finalized, an ongoing sculpture committee made up of most of the Sculpture Evergreen board will work with the CAE staff on events and displays. A sculpture committee will help with the Sculpture Walk.
Rosenthal and Joe Glasmire, Sculpture Evergreen’s vice president, now serve on the CAE board to help provide continuity.
She noted that Sculpture Evergreen’s experience combined with CAE’s energy and full-time staff will be a win-win.
Nierenberg said in an interview that the merger means the arts community in Evergreen is going to continue to be alive and well.
“This is a long time in the making,” she said. “Now is the perfect time to make it happen. We don’t want anybody to think we are losing what is Sculpture Evergreen. We want to be great stewards of their legacy and grow it throughout the mountain community.”
Rosenthal added that Sculpture Evergreen was energized about combining forces.
“They will support our efforts going forward,” she said. “This is just the beginning. This merger with Center for the Arts Evergreen will make us stronger than ever.”
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