Jordan River Arts Council
In recent years, Jordan River Art Council (JRAC) realized their current facility, a Carnegie Library which opened in 1918, needed some improvements in order to meet the needs of their community in East Jordan, Michigan. These improvements include additional exhibition, event, and classroom space and renovation to the existing building to improve accessibility. This would more than double the current space, and open a world of expanded programming opportunities to leverage each show and artist. The addition and renovation would resolve the twin challenges of accessibility and sufficient space, with a design that respects the historic nature of the building, preserving its presence and façade.
In 2015, Kennari Consulting conducted a feasibility study interviewing 30 members of the communities that are either impacted by the work done by JRAC or the community as a whole. These Interviewees were provided information ahead of time: a case for support, current and projected budget information, and renderings of the proposed addition and renovation. The conversations gathered information in an open, honest, and anonymous forum. Hiring an outside consultant to oversee the process was a little outside of the box for the small volunteer-run organization, but the community overwhelmingly realized the value and importance of the process.
The Jordan River Arts Council has worked as an all-volunteer organization for over 25 years. In 2014 the city sold us our building for $1. We realized it was time to make some major changes, both in our facilities and in how we operate. Kennari’s Feasibility Study showed us how the community saw our work and supported proposed changes. First, I would like to say that every person we spoke to who had been interviewed was impressed by the professional presentation of the case study and the high quality of the interview itself. We have a big task ahead. We are working on board development and strategic plans. Kennari’s work provided a clear base of information with which to begin our move into the future. It was an excellent investment.Cynthia Tschudy
The feasibility study and proposed project was overwhelmingly favorable for JRAC, however, a few areas or organization improvement were brought to the board’s attention. Since completing the study in the fall of 2015, JRAC has made significant strides in the areas of strategic planning, board development, marketing, and continuing to cultivate donor relationships.