Supporting Arts, Culture, and Education

Supporting Arts, Culture, and Education

Art Center celebrates three years at the Frankfort Coast Guard Station

The Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts (OAC) will celebrate three years in the fully renovated Frankfort Coast Guard Station on Friday, August 8, with its annual fundraising event.

This year’s event is themed Fun-Raiser, because it “offers something for everyone to enjoy, with games, live music, and a chance for everyone to take part in art,” says executive director Steve Brown.

The fundraiser will feature live and silent auctions, with prizes that include a three-night stay in a deluxe North Carolina cabin or a private opening reception with local artists Steve and Ann Loveless (who won the 2013 Grand Rapids Art Prize), to be held before their exhibition opening in November at OAC. Participants will also be able to bid on paintings by Lauren Everett Finn while they are created live at the Fun-Raiser. Other art-themed items include one-on-one drawing and ceramics workshops, framed works of art by Tony Couch and Douglass David, and commissioned portraits of the winner’s home or pet.

“This is one of the best ways to support artistic, cultural, and economic vision in our community,” Brown says. The fundraiser hopes to raise $10 of every $100 needed to operate OAC seven days a week, all year round, free of admission. “That means that exhibitions, artist talks, free events, and staff and operations budgets rely on our fundraiser’s success. We think the Art Center is an excellent way to invest in our community’s future.”

Brown, who came aboard as executive director two years ago, sees the Art Center as an integral part of the Benzie community. “Oliver Art Center has a measurable positive impact on the area economy by drawing visitors throughout the year,” he says. “By anchoring visitors once they’re here, and by highlighting businesses through sponsorship opportunities and with our distinctive Business Alliance Membership plan.”

Still, the most gratifying experience for Brown has been witnessing the consistent support and dedication that our community brings to the Art Center.

“During my time with the Art Center I have learned to think of community as a verb, not a noun,” he says. “That’s a lesson I will never forget.”

Tickets to the August 8 fundraiser are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Attendees will be treated to wine, a wide variety of appetizers, and live music provided by Carter Creek. Just before the Fun-Raiser, supporters can head to Stormcloud Brewing Company, where 20 percent of sales made between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. will be donated to OAC. It’s a great way to support the Art Center and local business while enjoying a craft brew or a snack.

“We’re very excited about the innovations we’ve made to this year’s event,” says Elaine Peterson, OAC board chair. “We truly believe that anyone who attends will have a great time, while also supporting a great organization.”

Visit or call 231-352-4151 for open hours and information.

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