After several months of frustration, we finally received the go-ahead to move into the first renovated section of the Center. Divine Art Record Company's offices have moved into Compass from Country Club Road, and we have begun to set up our visitor room, and a store where you can browse and buy Divine Art's CDs and a selection of music and art-related books, and other items. In mid November our Fork'n Spoon Cafe will open offering, to begin with, a selection of sandwiches, snacks and Vermont Coffee. As work continues the cafe will expand in the spring but is primairily for carry-out at present. We now need to work on refitting the heating system, largely destroyed during the building's vacant period, so as to be able to use the main concert and activity hall through the winter.
Our first open day was held on November 3 for our new neighbors, residents of Park Village, and included the planting of a tree, shrubs and spring bulbs generously donated by Garden Times of Rutland. We'll keep developing the building during the winter as far as the weather allows and will ave our formal opening in April
We are delighted to welcome our latest board member, Alyssa Zolman, whose work for the Reporter and now for the Economic Development Board is of such value to our town. Sadly Kerrilee Knights has had to resign from the Board, due to the heavy business commitment of running her Rutland restaurant, but will remain one of our Circle Of Advisers.
Christine Gahagan was also welcomed to the Foundation Board recently. Christine is a very well known personality in Brandon and runs the local Boys' and Girls' Club. Her devotion to enriching the lives of children will be a great asset. We still have board vacancies and invite interest from arts patrons especially those with experience of managing and funding major and complex programs.
We are extremely grateful to the management, staff and students of Point Counterpoint who have given three amazing concerts featuring some of the country's finest musicians, in aid of the Foundation. Also, we are indebted to classical musicians Diana Fanning and Dieuwke Davdov and several local folk bands such as Woodchuck's Revenge, who have generously given benefit concerts.
Much work has been done to refit and refurbish the Phase 0 Zone - the main entrance and adjoining areas. It looked quite good until we started work on the refitting of the fire sprinklers which meant the ceilings had to come down again. At the same time, work is underway to restore power throughout the whole building. We were delighted to see lights on for the first time in 17 years and our contractors have completed the 'energizing' of most of the main floor - just a small area and all of the and the lower level to be tackled next. The completion of this job, which also includes the upgrade of the fire alarm network, will allow us to move forward on other important aspects of the renovation.
As soon as the above work is completed, as well as opening the visitor room (and a bathroom!) the offices of Divine Art Recordings Group (part of Brandon Music, our commercial partners and sponsors) will relocate to the Compass Building from 62 Country Club Road. The offices will also offer a listening lounge and retail area for Divine Art's CDs (over 600 titles) and music related goodies. This will be followed by the move from Country Club Road of the Phonograph Room which will be developed over time into an instructive but fun working exhibit of vintage 'talking machines' (old record players!), radio and TV, from the 1880s up to the 1970s - and perhaps beyond). This will be a gradual and ongoing process as we acquire and renovate more items. Meanwhile the Phonograph Room remains open at Country Club Road.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
The Board of the Compass Foundation continues to meet monthly, and all are very enthusiastic about our project and the opportunity to develop and nurture the artistic community of Vermont. Not only that, but also to engage the entire community in the appreciation and enjoyment of all the creative and performing arts in an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere. The Board next meets in mid May. Currently we have six Directors, and are keen to attract more people with a passion for the arts and with skills and experience in areas such as making and managing grant applications, running an art gallery or other large public facility, publicity and PR - and so on. The aim is to have a main Board of eleven with a much larger Circle of Advisers.
FUNDRAISING AND MEMBERSHIP
We have held three benefit concerts so far: thanks to all the musicians who gave their time and skill to this project.
There will be plenty of opportunities to support and be a part of this great vision. Various membership packages will be on offer soon as well as commercial sponsorships.
We have been delighted with the positive response from musicians from Vermont, the UK and many parts of the USA (and Australia!) who have pledged their support for the new Center and many of whom will be giving benefit concerts this year and into the future. Other performers, unable to perform live at present, have donated CDs and offered to give masterclasses once the Compass's Music Teaching wing is ready for use.
TAX EXEMPT STATUS
The Compass Foundation has been incorporated under s.501(c)(3) of the Tax Code. This means that donations will be rewarded with a tax benefit, however it takes some time to obtain the exemption certificate from the IRS.