By Zachary Daum
Making it official on Thursday, July 27, The Leu Civic Center has announced that in the next few weeks, they will be receiving an entirely new art studio, courtesy of global home furnishings giant, IKEA. This momentous development comes as a result of the hard work and dedication of volunteers who have tirelessly supported the civic center’s artistic endeavors.
At the heart of this initiative are Leu Director Jenna Smith and local artist Sally Farrington, who teamed up to seek a way to bring a fully furnished art studio to the civic center. After careful consideration, they identified IKEA as the ideal partner to realize their vision. Director Smith was deeply inspired by IKEA’s community-oriented goals and its commitment to supporting projects that promote creativity and expression.
In preparation for the arrival of IKEA’s contribution, the civic center had already taken a proactive approach to create an art studio space. They rolled up their sleeves and painted the studio themselves, and even managed to prepare a few art easels. However, with the supplies from IKEA, the center’s capabilities are expected to take a significant leap, enabling them to introduce a host of brand-new programs and artistic experiences for the community.
Director Smith could hardly contain her excitement when sharing the news, exclaiming, “We are partnering with IKEA, and they are fully furnishing our new art studio. We are so grateful for their donation and recognition of the importance of our art studio. They will be supplying all the furniture, desks, peg boards, cubbies, and even sending people to assemble them for us. This is a tremendous opportunity for us to offer a variety of new programming at low cost and for all ages. With an open studio time, we will have a completely transformed art studio that will benefit the entire community.”
This collaborative effort with IKEA aligns perfectly with the civic center’s mission to promote creativity, nurture artistic talent, and enrich the lives of individuals from all walks of life. The partnership holds the promise of fostering a vibrant and inclusive artistic community within Leu Town.
For artist Sally Farrington, this exciting venture is not just about the physical studio but also about the broader impact on the community. “It shows that we are putting an importance on arts and creativity. We are able to show off items to other people so they can upgrade and update (for their home studio) too. It was such a quick decision, to decide to invest in (the civic center). In a lot of school systems, the arts is one of the first things to get cut, and it’s nice that here, we will be able to facilitate the arts. It will also help those in lower income families,” Farrington said.
The impact of this collaboration is expected to be far-reaching. While there will be nominal fees associated with using the art studio, the center is committed to keeping the costs low. Moreover, they plan to offer scholarships to individuals facing financial constraints, ensuring that access to artistic education remains inclusive and open to all. To further support their artistic endeavors, the civic center is actively seeking donations from the community.
Looking ahead, the Leu Civic Center is eager to establish a listing for those who wish to contribute specific items to the art studio, allowing individuals and businesses to support the arts in a meaningful and tangible way. In the meantime, you can contact the Leu Civic Center at (618) 566-2175.