Mt. Pleasant arts organization moves annual fundraising auction online

Just as Art Reach of Mid Michigan has had to adapt its summer programming to these COVID-19 times – practicing social distancing and moving classes outdoors, whenever possible – its annual art auction has also been modified so as to meet the demands of the day.

While last year saw 220 people gathered together for the 2019 Auction for the Arts event, the 2020 iteration is moving to an online platform. And they’ve included the 4-H organization, too.

The 2019 Auction for the Arts event raised more than $65,000 for artists and the community, money that was used to fund 15 different art and cultural classes at the arts center.

This year’s auction will include artworks made by artists and artisans from throughout the state, family-fun experiences, and travel opportunities, among other prize packages.

"We were faced with trying to adapt our auction event, in an ever-changing situation, or shifting it to a virtual event. We felt that the virtual event, although it could have drawbacks, was the safest option for our staff, committee, and auction attendees," says Amy Powell, executive director of Art Reach.

"The committee is working diligently to make the event positive, highly productive, and offering opportunities for others in the community."

Online viewing of the items begins in September. For an in-person sneak preview, some of the art pieces will be on display at the Morey Family Gallery beginning Thursday, Sept. 10.

Bidding for the 2020 Auction for the Arts begins on Wednesday, Sept. 23, and ends on Sunday, Sept. 27.

"Knowing the local county fair was cancelled, one of our committee members recommended reaching out to the 4-H youth and offering them the opportunity to include their items in our auction, with a portion of the selling price going back to the 4-H youth. We’ve had a handful of youth take advantage of this, and we are so proud to be able to serve them as well," Powell says.

"This year’s auction event will certainly be different, and because of our amazing committee and community of business donors, it’s going to be amazing."

Money raised from the event goes back into the organization itself. The auction helps ensure that entrance to the Morey Family Gallery remains free and that the organization can continue to offer free arts programming throughout the year.

Visit Art Reach of Mid Michigan online or at the BiddingOwl auction site for more information about the 2020 Auction for the Arts.

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