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Hopkinsville Art Guild Revamps Student Program and Changes Non-Profit Status

Hopkinsville Art Guild

The Hopkinsville Art Guild's new president is working with guild members to bring changes in the coming year. Dave Russell joined the guild two years ago and began his term as president early this month.

Russell is working to revamp and reinstate the student membership program. The goal is to provide mentorship opportunities to young artists and encourage them to add their unique perspective to conversation in the art community. Christian County High School art teacher and Guild member Paula Gieske is coordinating the program.

The program will offer local high school seniors a discounted membership fee of $15. Guild members will sponsor students who can not afford the fee. 

So far, about 15 students have expressed interest in the program. The students will also receive community service credit. 

"When you find someone with a talent, they tend to gravitate towards others with that talent or towards those who will encourage that talent," Russell said. "I'm hoping we'll have some good relationships and cultivate some new styles of art."

Russell is also working with guild members to re-apply for non-profit status. When the guild originated 50 years ago, it was intended to function as a non-profit. However, instead of filing for a 501(c)(3), the original members filed for a 501(c)(4). 

In short, this means that the guild is considered a non-profit, but is ineligible to qualify for any grants. The Hopkinsville Art Gallery was then established to provide income. 

The guild can still change its non-profit status and become a regular non-profit entity, but its association with the gallery prohibits that. Separating the two would allow the guild to apply for grants that would provide more opportunities to expand and begin new educational programs.  

The guild will remain the Hopkinsville Art Guild, but will modify their charter and begin applying for grants. The gallery was recently incorporated as a co-op, meaning it is now completely owned by the members of the gallery who pay a membership in exchange for displaying and selling their works. Any profits left over after rent, utilities and other fees go back to the members.

“It’s certainly been a big change for us in terms of how we think of the guild,” Russell said. “They are now two organizations.”

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