Cultural Council draws visitors to Event Planner kickoff party

VERO BEACH — The celebratory mood was infectious as people gathered at the new Cultural Council of Indian River County offices for the launch of its Fifth Anniversary edition Community Event Planner.  The Cultural Council and Main Street Vero Beach offices moved across the street from their previous Theatre Plaza location at the end of August, and now the only boxes yet unpacked were the ones containing 10,000 copies of the newly printed planners. An exciting new component to the space was the addition of the Leightty Gallery, which fills the large entry hallway outside of the offices with Karen Leightty’s vibrantly colored Electric Winter exhibit.

When asked about the new location board member Barbara Hoffman said, “I think it’s beautiful.  We’re very pleased.  It’s a much more workable space for us.”

“Having all this artwork lends a lot to the space,” added attorney Robin Lloyd.  “It’s great for a cultural organization like this; looks like a natural.”

Mary Jayne Kelly, Cultural Council’s Executive Director, laughed that the move had been a great way to get rid of things they didn’t need or use.

“I’m thrilled,” said Kelly.  “It’s a much more functional space.  I can’t wait to start working now that I’m unpacked.”

As visitors mingled with one another and thumbed through the planners, many remarked on how inclusive it was, with everything from gallery openings and galas to festivals and fundraisers.

“I’ve got to get out my highlighter,” laughed Diane Parentela.

Early in the spring, a call to artists had been issued for the annual cover competition and photographer J. Scott Kelly’s montage of photos, taken at various Indian River County locations, was chosen as the winner.

“Every single one of these pictures came about from our Adventure Photography and Photo Walks,” said Kelly.

The two other finalists were artists Barbara Sharp with her whimsical Bubbles design and Barbara Brooks with her imaginative piece, Indian River A River Runs Through.

There was a dedicated committee of volunteers who worked on the planners, but truly none harder than Marsha Damerow, who designed the layout and Sharon Morgan who coordinated the cover competition.  The pair also gathered and compiled all the data submitted for both the printed and on-line calendars.

“It’s a perfect example of a collaboration between cultural and community organizations, volunteers, members, artists and advertisers,” said Board President Susan Grandpierre. “We have a lot of people to thank.”

Referencing the ten-year comprehensive cultural plan being developed by the board, Grandpierre added, “I hope we can keep this positive spirit of collaboration going and expand it even further.  There’s such good energy and you’re seeing it all here. This is the heart and soul of the community.”

Pick up free copies of the Community Event Planner at the Cultural Council office at 2041 14th Avenue, Suite A in historic downtown Vero Beach.  {igallery 267}

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