Windgate Foundation awards Brookfield Craft Center $150,000 For Ceramics Studio Renovations

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Windgate Foundation awards Brookfield Craft Center

$150,000 For Ceramics Studio Renovations

Brookfield, CT - The Windgate Foundation, longtime partner of the Brookfield Craft Center and supporter of a variety of arts and fine craft initiatives around the nation, has awarded BCC $150,000 to renovate the interior of its ceramics studio. The award provides the majority of the funding for the project, which also includes the repair of several kilns, partially funded by the Ellen Knowles Harcourt Foundation. Donations and volunteer support to sustain the studio continue to be welcome from the community.

The pottery studio serves the full range of aspiring and professional artisans of all ages with its classes, workshops and open studio time. Populations served include youth, home-schooled students, individuals with special needs, adults, professionals and senior citizens. Located in a historic carriage barn built in the 1800's, the space currently provides an intimate and rustic environment for students to learn in, however, the aging building is in need of renovation. The project will upgrade the interior and allow the Craft Center to purchase much-needed equipment, while maintaining the historic character that students know and love. Space on the upper floors of the building will house the Center for Modern Craftsmanship designed to integrate traditional craft making techniques with digital tools.

Teachers, students and administration at Brookfield Craft Center are extremely excited about the grant.

"I have been teaching ceramics at the Craft Center for a number of years." said Clare Lewis, BCC faculty member and professional potter, "So many people have blossomed in this program. This upgrade will allow us to expand our curriculum and offer additional experiences to our students.”

Howard Lasser, Brookfield Craft Center’s Executive Director was thrilled when asked to comment on the award. “As we celebrate our 65th Anniversary, we are extremely pleased to continue our relationship with the Windgate Foundation and extremely encouraged by their confidence in our organization as we move ahead with updates to our facilities and enhancements to programs.”

The award for the Ceramics Studio Upgrade Project comes shortly after the completion of the expansion of Brookfield Craft Center’s Good Forge, which will be dedicated as part of their Open House event on May 20th. The Forge expansion was also made possible by the generosity of the Windgate Foundation.

About the Brookfield Craft Center - The Brookfield Craft Center (BCC) was founded in 1952 and is recognized as one of the core fine craft schools in America. The center is a 501(c)(3) organization, offering classes and workshops in glass arts, woodturning, ceramics, blacksmithing, fiber arts and other creative endeavors taught by professional faculty. The summer “Hands on Arts” program, sponsored by the Give Back Brands Foundation is available for children ages 11-14 during summer months. The historic Mill Building (ca 1780) Gift Shop And Exhibition Gallery is a beautiful venue for displaying fine craft. All works are carefully juried and are representative of the type of skills individuals can learn in our classes. As a force for arts advocacy and community building, the BCC strives to teach and preserve the skills of fine craftsmanship, and to enable creativity and personal growth through craft education

Photo:  Instructor, Will Talbot demonstrates in the BCC Ceramics Studio -2016 Photo by Amber Vlangas

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