In an action taken at their most recent meeting, the Select Board of the town of Monson voted for a two-part proposal made to them by the Fire Department, to 1) evict the Monson Arts Council from the building to allow it to be temporarily occupied by the fire department during its building renovations, and 2) once they no longer needed it as temporary quarters, to demolish the bu8ilding to make room for a wider access road to the fire station. These actions were taken without any notification to the Monson Arts Council that the proposal was to be considered by the board, and no notification after the fact of the decision taken. The discussion at the meeting gave only the briefest mention of the MAC and its current occupation of the building. We were dismissed with the comment that “nothing much happens in the building” and a vague reference to rehousing the MAC in another location.
This action is a huge blow to the MAC, and thus to the whole town. The council has occupied the building for over 25 years, during which time we have provided vital cultural activities for the town and surrounding area. These activities include the annual craft fair on Thanksgiving weekend, a major town tradition for over 40 years, and a Spring art show which has gained regional renown. Other activites include an art camp for children, and workshops such as the Plein Air workshop now in progress. The loss of the House of Art would cripple the work of this all-volunteer organization a impoverish the cultural life of the town.
The action of the Select Board will be up for review at its upcoming meeting on Tuesday evening, September 26 at seven pm. The Arts Council will be able to present its case to the Select Board and hopefully to get its previous actions reversed. All those who support the work of the council and its continued operation are urged to attend the meeting and make your voice heard.