HALLOWELL — The Kennebec Valley Art Association recently was awarded an Organizational Development grant of $3,000 from the Maine Arts Commission in support of strategic planning through 2020, according to a news release from Harlow Gallery.

The nonprofit arts organization experienced dramatic growth and change dating from the drafting of its first strategic plan in 2005, followed by updates in 2008 and 2012. The process led to essential improvements in administration, and retooled programming that responds to the needs of the community. The resulting growth in reputation and reach has led to increased audience and supporters; membership increased from fewer than 80 in 2004 to around 450 members today, the operating budget tripled over the same period, and major improvements where made to the organization’s historic building in downtown Hallowell, according to the release.

Grant funding from the Maine Art Commission is supporting strategic planning for 2016-20, to include a leadership succession plan for the first time, for both board and staff, and an executive transition plan.

“Since I started in 2004, we’ve built on an amazing 50-year legacy, on the hard work and dedication of all those volunteers who came before us. I’m proud of that and I plan to hand over the Harlow Gallery to the next generation of leadership on solid financial footing, with a clear road map for the coming years that our Board and membership is enthusiastically and fully behind,” Deborah Fahy, executive director of the KVAA and the Harlow Gallery, said in the release.

The Maine Arts Commission is an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit mainearts.maine.gov.

The Kennebec Valley Art Association, a 501(c) membership based nonprofit, was founded in 1958 and has owned and operated the Harlow Gallery in downtown Hallowell since 1963. Its mission is to connect and celebrate art, artists and community. For more information visit them online at harlowgallery.org.

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