Bedford Center for the Arts ~ BCA ~ in Transition


BCA at a recent Bedford Day - Courtesy image (c) all rights reserved
BCA booth at a recent Bedford Day – Courtesy image (c) all rights reserved

Submitted by Bedford Center for the Arts

The Bedford Center for the Arts (BCA) was founded in 2000 to serve the needs and interests of practitioners and patrons of the arts in Bedford. Over the years, BCA has offered classes and workshops in painting and other fine arts; lecture series about opera; monthly craft workshops for children; a monthly play reading group;and through its Photo Group, opportunities for professional and hobbyist photographers to network and hone their skills.

Like any community organization, membership and attendance has ebbed and flowed over the years. In recent years, however, interest in many of BCA’s core offerings has waned, and efforts to recruit more volunteers to lead and manage new programming have been largely unsuccessful. BCA found itself at a crossroads: committed to supporting the arts in Bedford, but unsure how best to fulfill its mission in the face of declining attendance and increased costs.

Under the leadership of president/executive director Elizabeth Hacala, the BCA board completed a multi-year feasibility study into what it would take to keep going with the current mission. To ensure citizens had the opportunity to be involved in the conversation, last November the board held a public forum and invited all members, past event attendees, and the public to attend. The board also invited people to reach out to any BCA board member if they could not make the meeting, yet wanted to be involved. BCA had hoped the process would bring new voices to the table, but sadly it did not, and the board concluded there was not a critical mass to continue with BCA’s overall mission and programming.

Many of BCA’s specific offerings are still thriving, however. The opera workshops, play reading group, and especially the Photo Group offerings will all continue. On May 7, the photo group will hold an all-day workshop with award-winning commercial photographer Bryan Peterson.

The BCA board is working with counsel to finalize a transition plan to a more focused organization. Details about the re-invented BCA will be releasedthroughout the spring as appropriate.  The board thanks everyone who has supported the Bedford Center for the Arts with donations, time, and energy.



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