Peruse our frequently asked questions, then contact us at 541-624-2800 or [email protected] if you don’t see your question on the list.
How do I find out about happenings at ACE?
We have a lot going on! Stay in touch with us via our weekly e-newsletter, pick up a printed class schedule to have on hand (class schedules are available at ACE and around town; they list three months worth of classes and events, and are printed quarterly), follow us on Facebook or Instagram (@artcentereast), bookmark the calendar page of our website, visit our booth at the La Grande Farmers Market, stop by ACE for a visit (or check out our door for upcoming event posters if we’re closed), and look for our pinecone logo on posters around town to know it’s an ACE event!
What free opportunities do you provide?
Our gallery exhibits are always free and open to the public during our business hours: 10am-4pm Mon-Fri & 12-4pm Sat. Gallery receptions for the opening night of a new exhibit are free to all. In addition, we offer a variety of community events, music ensemble and cultural performances, art activities, and more throughout the year, without a fee to participate. Check out our Free page to see what’s coming up.
Are you ADA accessible?
Sort of. Our downstairs entrance (located on the 5th Street side of the building) is ADA accessible, which allows access to the studio spaces where most of our classes take place. The upstairs portion of the building is a half-story above ground level and was built at a time when wheelchair accessibility was not a consideration. Although many of you may remember that the former library had an elevator, by the time Art Center East took over custody of the building it was no longer in working condition, it is not possible with our limited budget to replace it at this time. We do not currently have ADA accessibility to our main floor, which houses our exhibit and gift galleries. If you would like to take a survey about ADA accessibility at ACE in order to help us assess community interest and appeal for City funding to make the building more accessible, please go here.
How can I support ACE?
Art Center East is a community art center. Community engagement is what makes us who we are and brings meaning to our work. Support us by visiting: come see what’s in the gallery or attend an opening reception, take a class, join a music ensemble, attend a free community event, and remember the Gift Gallery and ACE gift certificates when you’re shopping for the perfect gift.
Already a fan? Tell your friends about us, write a review online (Facebook, Google Business, & Yelp), or invite someone new to an upcoming event. We love our community and enjoy seeing new faces at ACE.
If you’d like to do more, consider becoming a member, making a one-time donation, teaching a class, or becoming a volunteer. Sharing ACE volunteer opportunities with your family, friends, local service group or church also helps us to engage with new people and reach a wider audience.
How do you use my membership fees?
Membership fees go toward operational costs, including: gallery maintenance, building and grounds maintenance, programming (classes, events, music ensembles), and supplies. Strong membership numbers also make our grant applications more competitive because it shows community support for our programs. This secondary benefit amplifies the monetary contribution you make when you become an ACE member and keep your membership current.
Why do you charge for classes?
Art Center East is an independent non-profit organization. We do not receive regular funding from an outside source and, as a rule, grant funding does not usually cover operating costs. We rely on revenue generated from our programming to keep our building functioning and pay staff. This includes class fees, gallery sales, and memberships. Part of our class fees also go to pay the teaching artist, which amplifies the arts as an economic driver in the community.
Why are your classes so expensive?
Class prices reflect the overhead costs of offering classes, including: wages for our teaching artists, building and equipment costs, marketing, staff time, and, unless otherwise noted, the cost of supplies you will be using in class. In order to keep our pricing as consistent and fair as possible, we use a standard formula to arrive at the price for each class. We insist on paying our teaching artists because it represents the power of the arts as an economic driver in the community. To support the access of young people to the arts, we provide youth scholarships.
Do you offer scholarships?
We currently offer a scholarship for youth age 18-years or younger for 50% off the price of a class. Find out more about how to apply. We also have a sibling discount: after the initial class registration, each additional sibling registration receives 10% off the cost of the class.
How is ACE funded?
We receive funding from a variety of sources, including: memberships, grants, private donations, and revenue from gallery sales & classes. In addition to monetary contributions, we accomplish so much with so little because of generous volunteer help, in-kind contributions of materials and services, supply donations, and community service workers.
Who maintains the building?
The historic Carnegie Library building that Art Center East calls home is owned by the City of La Grande. However, Art Center East is responsible for funding and managing all building and grounds maintenance.
Why do you have limited hours?
Our galleries are open to the public from 10am-4pm Mon-Fri & 12-4pm Sat. Our Exhibit and Gift Galleries are open for extended hours during all exhibit opening receptions and public events held in the ACE building. These hours are what we can maintain with the staff our budget allows.
Can I host my event/party/reunion at ACE?
Yes, Art Center East has a facilities rental program. Find out more.
Will ACE make a donation to my organization/club/team/etc?
We allocate a portion of our budget each year to supporting local community organizations. Find out more about how to request a donation.
How do I teach at ACE?
We are always looking for new teachers to add their skills and enthusiasm to the class lineup. Find out more about teaching at ACE.
How do I exhibit at ACE?
We have two exhibit galleries, the Main Gallery and the Co-op Gallery. Main Gallery exhibitions are juried (applications are reviewed and selected by a committee), while the Co-op Gallery is non-juried, open to applicants 15-years + on a first come basis. Both galleries require that you submit an application to be considered for an exhibition.
How do I sell my art in the Gift Gallery?
Are you an artist or a maker of something giftable? Consider applying to sell your goods in the Art Center East Gift Gallery. There is no fee to apply and artists keep all proceeds minus a standard commission (30% for ACE Artist Members, 35% for Non-Members). It’s a great way to get your art in front of the community and into a retail space without the hassle of doing it yourself. Find out more about selling in the ACE Gift Gallery.
Can I use your studio?
Studio rentals are considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on the artist’s needs and ACE studio availability. If you are interested in studio space (our general studio as well as ceramics studio), we’d love to hear from you! Please contact us at [email protected] with information about what kind of space you are looking for and how often you would like access to it.
What is Art Center East’s relationship with Eastern Oregon University?
Art Center East has had a long relationship with EOU through our former incarnation as the Eastern Oregon Regional Arts Council, which was based in the same EOU campus building that ACE now occupies. EOU provides this space - used for an ACE administrative office as well as the ACE community music program and private lessons - rent-free, as well as the use of the McKenzie Theater and rehearsal space for ACE music ensemble performances. Besides the in-kind donation of space, EOU does not make financial contributions to Art Center East.
What is Art Center East’s relationship with the City of La Grande?
Art Center East is an independent nonprofit arts organization with a Board of Directors, staff, budget and revenue stream completely separate from the City of La Grande. The historic Carnegie Library building that we call home is owned by the City of La Grande, from whom we lease the building. As part of that lease, ACE is responsible for all building repair, restoration, and maintenance costs, as well as grounds maintenance.
Who are Art Center East’s community partners?
We make a point to engage with as many community organizations and individuals as possible, hosting community conversations, talks, events, classes, and exhibits, as well as attending other organizations’ events and festivals with outreach materials and free art activities.
We have formalized partnerships with the following community organizations:
- Union County Juvenile Department
- Shelter from the Storm
- La Grande Farmers Market
- Traditional Live!
- Impact 100
Why is an art center important?
Art Center East employs staff to organize and coordinate a full schedule of art exhibits, classes, music ensembles, and cultural experiences that enrich the quality of life in our rural region. Through our AiRS program, we also provide resident artists to teach art to school-age children in ten counties of eastern Oregon. In addition to acting as a catalyst for connecting our community with art & cultural experiences, Art Center East plays an important role in the local economy. As an advocate of working artists, we pay all of our teaching artists and provide an income source for artists that exhibit in our galleries or sell their pieces in our retail Gift Gallery.
A 2017 economic impact study of northeast Oregon conducted by Americans for the Arts found that based on data collected in 2015, the non-profit arts sector (individual artists and for-profit arts businesses were excluded from the study) of Baker, Wallowa, and Union counties supports 39 full-time equivalent jobs, generates $657,000 in household income to local residents, and delivers $72,000 in local and state government revenue. These non-profit arts organizations (of which ACE is one) generate $1.2 million in economic spending within the northeast Oregon region.
Art Center East provides a home for creative expression and exploration, cultural connections, advocacy and income generation for working artists, while helping to bring art back into schools. ACE also serves as a driver for the local economy and a contributor to the development of a vibrant and creative business community.
Do you take supply donations?
We appreciate when community think of us when preparing for a garage sale, move, or just doing a deep cleaning. The best way to make a donation is to call us first (541-624-2800). Because we have limited storage space, we can only take items that we are able to use right away. Please do not leave items outside the building when it is closed, or drop off mixed loads of materials without calling ahead first.
Wondering what materials we are looking for? We almost always accept office supplies (especially printing paper) and basic art supplies (new or like-new condition: markers, paper, acrylic paint, brushes, glue, specialty supplies, etc). We may be interested in miscellaneous art supplies, collage materials, art pieces, or art books, depending on space availability at the time of donation. We are rarely interested in well-used supplies or equipment, repurposed materials (unless we are requesting something specific for a specific project), frames (with or without art), etc. Please call us to determine if your donation is a good fit for our current needs and to schedule a drop-off time.
Another type of donation we always accept is food items for our gallery opening receptions. The contribution can be homemade or store bought, savory or sweet, and just needs to be something easy to eat without utensils. Contact [email protected] if you would like to contribute something for an upcoming reception.
What kind of music opportunities do you have?
Art Center East coordinates four music ensembles: Union County Children’s Choir, Grande Ronde Community Choir, Community Symphonic Band, and an African Drumming group. All opportunities are community focused and low cost ways to join a community of fellow musicians. Art Center East also offers private music lessons at our office located on the Eastern Oregon University campus. Find out more about music opportunities through ACE.
How to I register for a music ensemble?
Do you have dance, exercise, or wellness classes?
Yes! A number of partnering organizations and instructors work with us to provide health and wellness classes at Art Center East, including Liv Fit, TraditionalLive!, the Grande Ronde Yoga Collective, and Teahouse.
Where’s the library?
The Cook Memorial Library is located just down the street from Art Center East at 2006 Fourth Street in La Grande.
Arts For All FAQ
When is Arts For All 2019?
The City of La Grande Department of Parks and Recreation will host future Arts For All events. The 2019 event is scheduled for Saturday, April 27 from 9 - 11:30am at the Riveria School Gym. Contact [email protected] for more information.
Why is Art Center East no longer running Arts For All?
Arts For All was managed by the City of La Grande from its inception until 2016, when Art Center East took over stewardship. It is a popular event within the community; however, as a non-profit with limited funding, it grew beyond Art Center East’s capacity to sustain due to the high cost of renting an event facility and providing supplies and staff planning and coordinating hours. In the spring of 2018, the Art Center East Board of Directors decided to invest our resources into the Artists in Rural Schools (AiRS) program, therefore reaching a wider population of school-age children on a more sustainable budget. The Board informed the City of La Grande of its decision and the City decided to continue the event under their Parks and Recreation Department.
I enjoyed volunteering at Arts For All. How can I volunteer with Art Center East in a similar way?
Art Center East hosts multiple family-oriented outreach booths and events each year. All of these events are great opportunities to volunteer with Art Center East while bringing unique and inspiring art experiences into the community:
Art at the Market is a twice-monthly free art activity booth held at the La Grande Farmers’ Market, May thru October.
Art Center East hosts a free art activity booth at one or two area festivals each summer, as well as at the Soroptimist Festival of Trees Family Fun Day on the first weekend of December.
The first Friday in November kicks off Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at Art Center East with an evening of family, art, and culture, including free art activity tables and other volunteer opportunities.
Volunteer with these events and more by contacting our volunteer coordinator, Sarah West, at [email protected]. Receive weekly updates and learn about other ways to get involved with Art Center East by signing up for the e-newsletter here.
I used to donate supplies to Arts For All. How can I continue to support Art Center East through supply donations?
Art Center East is always in need of basic art supplies for our regular youth arts programming and outreach booths, including drawing and painting supplies (new condition only), paper, scissors and glue (new condition only), collage materials, and more. Please call ahead (541-624-2800) before making a purchase or a drop-off.
As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, all donations are tax-deductible. We are a membership organization, and annual membership dues are a significant part of our operating budget. Becoming a member gives you discounts on classes & gift gallery purchases, and provides a steady stream of funding that keeps Art Center East programming growing. Art Center East also accepts donations for supplies, programming, and facilities maintenance. See more about our giving program here.
I sponsored Arts For All. Can I still sponsor art experiences through Art Center East?
Yes! Sponsorship opportunities with Art Center East change annually. In 2019, we are looking for sponsors for the following programs and events:
Artists in Rural Schools (AiRS) - An artist residency program that places teaching artists in regional schools. Sponsor funds impact the lives of a diverse population of children, their teachers, and their families.
Art at the Market - An art outreach program that offers free high quality and engaging art activities at the La Grande Farmers’ Market twice-monthly from April-October. Sponsors can fund one day, one month, or the full market season. Sponsor funds impact a diverse population of youth and their families, with 30-50 individuals served each market day. Many participants tell us that Art at the Market is a major reason they come to the farmers’ market!
Dia de los Muertos / Day of the Dead - An annual celebration of family, art, and culture held at Art Center East on the first Friday in November. This popular free event attracts a large crowd of local families and offers attendees a welcoming and interactive experience with the Art Center East galleries. The event partners with local teachers to generate a display of artworks that explores the event’s cultural themes. Sponsor funds impact over 400 area children and families.
Youth Scholarship Fund - Art Center East maintains a pool of funds dedicated to assisting low-income families to enroll their children in art classes.
Interested in sponsoring a 2019 program or event? Contact Darcy Dolge at [email protected] for more info.