Cass Area Artists is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring the world of visual art to underserved areas in Michiana. Michiana encompasses the southwest corner of Michigan and the northwest corner of Indiana.
This semi-rural area hosts a plethora of uncelebrated artists working in a wide variety of artistic mediums. Through our totally-free-to-artists exhibits which take place in the Cass County Regional Gallery located in the Cass County Administration Building in Cassopolis, Michigan, we provide an opportunity to artists--from professionals to emerging artists, to hobbyists, to artists who have never shown their work--to interact with the public. In many cases, the public which frequents the Cass County Regional Gallery has little awareness of the richness of art in their community. We have seen over and over the look of amazement and joy on visitors' faces when they discover walls of art in a public building where they may have entered to complete some business but leave feeling rejuvenated.
Another outreach service is scholarship awards to budding artists grades 1-12. We currently offer 5 scholarships each year but we would love to offer more, as we usually have many grade-school applicants from the area. It would also be wonderful if we could offer higher dollar amounts.
In addition, our location in a semi-rural area lets us team up with the local county 4-H clubs to provide art projects which 4-H members ages 9-18 can work on and then present in competition at the annual county fair.
Why we need your help!
All of these interactions, however, cannot be accomplished without the attending funds to make it a reality. Cass Area Artists charges no fees to participating exhibitors. No entry fee, no judging fee, no commission on sales, and a free reception and cash prize awards. Cass Area Artists is unique in this regard and we are driven to showcase our local artists in a way that many of them could not otherwise afford. The pandemic hit us hard, both in membership (we do charge member dues) and in our local fundraising. In an area such as semi-rural Michiana, where most businesses are small and family-owned, it's much harder to establish a consistent donor base. Cass County, which is Cass Area Artists' physical location, has a population of approximately 51,000. Our entire county is populated by what would be considered only a small city in other locations. So we are making this effort to extend our fundraising reach to anyone and everyone who loves art and sees the value--for both artists and viewers--of bringing art into the lives of our local everyday folks. Will you be that art lover who extends a helping hand? We hope so!
The images below show the judge from our Summer 2022 exhibit presenting awards to artists, guests at the artists reception, a video stroll through the exhibit, and 2022 happy scholarship winners!