A group of area residents who want to promote the arts and enhance arts education have developed a consortium for northwest and north central Ohio.
The Northcoast Arts Alliance is to bring together organizations and individuals from Erie, Huron, Ottawa and Sandusky counties to support and cultivate the fine, performing, visual, culinary, digital and creative arts.
"The arts world is comprised of some of the busiest and most passionate people," said Jeanne Gay of the Musical Arts Series at Firelands Presbyterian Church, Port Clinton. "Having a regional network to share expertise, resources, and trade experiences is truly invaluable. It's helpful to communicate with others in regular forums about the do's and don'ts of presenting arts to our communities."
The NAA functions as a "one-stop shop" for regional arts groups to provide a regional arts calendar, weekly email newsletters, a website and bimonthly membership meetings.
"Through this organization, many of us who did not know of each other, or our various groups, have all become friends and used the networking NAA provides to develop events and motivate the arts in different venues across the region," said Sarah Pietrykowski of the Greater Port Clinton Arts Council.
In its first year, NAA's networking opportunities have led to such events as the River of Art festival in October with painter Jude Bischoff.
The collaborative event between the NAA, Bethesda Arts Council and Terra Community College brought an art education enrichment program into Fremont Public Schools for students K-12.
The NAA has more than 20 members, including art galleries, dance studios, community theaters, museums, orchestras, arts councils and schools. Future collaborations of the NAA include the first regional Jazz and American Music Festival this summer as well as assistance in enhancing and promoting summer camps, regional concerts, arts festivals and more.
NAA next meets at 10 a.m. Saturday at Sandusky State Theatre. To learn more, visit www.northcoastarts.com or call Terra's music and arts office at (419) 559-2233.