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February 24, 2010

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February 24, 2010

Many of the community events and activities in this town that bring our community together come from the Hanover ARts and Activities Center. Even though the building itself is a wonderful, historic building that is a lovely place for gatherings and weddings, the Center is much more than the building. It sponsors many of the programs and activities that bring our town and county together. I helped to found and continue to lead the Ashland Musical Variety Show. As far aw we know, we are unique probably in the country in the way that every other year around 350-400 sign up to sing and dance together for rehearsal that last 3 months to put on a show for 3 nights in the Randolph-Macon auditorium. The community building that occurs during those rehearsals is significant for the health and vitality of our area. People from different neighborhoods, businesses, races, economic backgrounds, ages, interests, and experiences sing and dance together--causing a feeling of unity and understanding. We have been doing this since l982. I also work with the Hanover Idols competition--helping to organize the auditions before friendly judges and the show for the Finalists. We had two sold-out shows in the Hanover ARts and Activities Center that allowed people with singing talent to share that talent with their friends and family --in a friendly way. Again, the friendships that were forged through the experience will continue. My first experience with the Center was when our two daughters went to pre-school in the basement and the Ashland library was housed there. Whenever there has been a need in our town or area, the Center has met that need.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way that people are brought together in family activities and in long-term activities. In addition to the Ashland Musical Variety Show and Hanover Idols, I have participated in the Railroad Run, the Bluemont Concerts, the speakers' series, etc.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to be sure that everyone everywhere could be a part of such wonderful community experiences.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

I love the community building that occurs in the programs that the Center sponsors. People enjoy working together for a good cause. Everyone is included and welcomed.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

outstanding. The executive director is as good as any highly paid staff person anywhere. And the volunteers are kind, inclusive, smart, and energetic.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand its creative, inclusive, valuable services to every artist, student, citizen, and person who had an idea or a need that such a wonderful arts/education center could meet.

Ways to make it better...

even more people could participate--although I am not sure how the auditorium or the show could fit more folks.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the need to continue to meet the needs of the community--to continue what is good and continue to improve. There is a limit to the funds available and the days and nights on the calendar.

One thing I'd also say is that...

every community could benefit from the valuable experiences that the Hanover Arts and Activities Center offers the families in our area.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 24, 2010

more

February 24, 2010

Hanover Arts and Activities Center has been a part of my life for 2 years. It is an excellent example of how community involvement can make a difference locally. The volunteers are dedicated to improving their community.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Inviting my daughter and her husband to an awareness gathering. My son-in-law is nearly 50 and has lived in Ashland all of his life and didn't know what the HAAC did.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Be more forthright in inviting people to join.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Participating in the public events held there.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Outstanding.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Spend far less time at board meetings discussing funding.

Ways to make it better...

We had invited people to join our organization at the Hullabaloo.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Funding and getting volunteers involced.

One thing I'd also say is that...

We're good but we could be better.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 24, 2010

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February 24, 2010

To put it simply, Hanover Arts & Activities Center is what makes Ashland a dream - what makes the town seem like something off of a movie set rather than real life. But it is real and HAAC keeps that feeling going through the town by all that they do and sponsor. Hanover Arts & Activities Center is Ashland!

More feedback...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Offer even more to the community. The budget is tight and funding is always difficult to come by...willing to let building repairs go before cutting back on events for the community. Selfless organization - deserves so much, gives so much!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

February 24, 2010

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February 24, 2010

Hanover Arts & Activities Center has a way of brining Ashland and Hanover residents together for a variety of community related events. The small town charm of Ashland lends itself nicely to the offerings of HAAC. HAAC truly is the "center of the center" in Ashland!! I have enjoyed becoming more involved in my community as a result of my board membership in HAAC. While I enjoy the events we sponsor, if we had additional funding, we could offer a wider range of art classes to the membership and public at large. Such as painting, pottery, music, dance, art themed field trips, historic talks, etc.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

participating in 3 Musical Variety Shows and assisting with 22 Hullabaloo. So much fun marching in the non-motorized July 4th Parade (and surprising the number of people outside of our community who attend this event!).

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

institute a financial plan. We need to establish a capital campaign that is ongoing and not just reliant on occasional grants and stipeds from the town.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Getting to know more of my neighbors from Ashland. There is a true sense of "community" in this town and a lot of it comes from the events sponsored by HAAC.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

excellent. If we had additional funding, we could increase our staff to assist with more events and more classes for the community. Not to mention reduce the workload of a very overloaded Executive Director.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

truly impact so many lives - regardles of age, gender or ethnicity.

Ways to make it better...

some of the board meetings didn't feel like "cliques".

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

financial. Our hands are tied in many respects because we don't have adequate funding to achieve our vision and goals.

One thing I'd also say is that...

it's a great organization and a graet way to meet so many different people!!!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 24, 2010

more

February 24, 2010

The Hanover Arts &Activities;Center physically and psychologically helps to center the town of Ashland. The programs, the members, the events reflect everything that is positive and uplifting about smallcommunity life. The events sponsored by the Center create a place for people to meet, for people to meet new people, for people to feel good about themselves, for people to feel they can make a positive inpact on their community. When we first moved to Ashland, the Center events and programs were where we made friends, where we joined in to help others; where we learned whatcommunity building can be, at its finest.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Outlet to use my singing talent...or lack thereof; outlet to help someone who needs help; as Chair of our July 4th celebration Iget hundreds of comments on how the event "makes me feel so good about this community"and that's only one event.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Develop proper funding processes and campaigns. We have increased attendance at our events by 200% in the past severalyears; we have added more and more programs. a proper funding campaign we could positively impact hundreds more in our community

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The people, the relationships, the satisfaction of doing something for somebody else, watching the children thrive and grow and gain self confidence through the programs they participate in

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

OH,MYGOSH!If they were in Congress, we woldn't have the problems we do.Talented, smart, empathetic, kind, give far more time and treasure than they have to give.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Change the lives and the future of thousands of children

Ways to make it better...

we had a specific Development and Funding VP; we could hire an assistant to our Executive Director who is WAY overworked. We could establish a proper structure for funding; WE COULD BECOME A MORE IMPACTFUL ART CENTER

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

FUNDING. The successful legacy our of events shows we can create success. Our funding problems are BECAUSE we have been so successful. Imagine what we could do if we could fund more arts-related community building events

One thing I'd also say is that...

Inthe face of catastrophic govt funding cuts to the Arts, local arts initiatives are the vehicle to keep alive the arts in our communities. It's not about the artistic endeavor; it's about how those endeavors strengthen individual and community lives

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 24, 2010

more

February 24, 2010

We retired to Ashland to be near family. One of our first experiences as "Ashlanders" was to participate in the production of the Musical Variety Show. We have now been a part of that wonderful community activity again and again. It brings the community together to meet and appreciate one another. This is what the Hanover Arts and Activities Center does in so many ways ... through a good, old-fashioned non-motorized Fourth of July Parade, a world class Railroad Run, theater camps for children, "Hanover Idols" production, art shows, book sales, Christmas spectacular, and so much more The Center is truly the "center of the community," offering endless opportunities for community meetings, celebrations, and good old togetherness. We are very grateful for Hanover Arts and Activities Center!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

building friendships and providing opportunities to contribute to the welfare of the community.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would encourage everyone in the area to become a part of it.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Making friends and feeling like we made a difference in the community.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Kind, cheerful, talented, and welcoming.

Ways to make it better...

even more members of the community could learn about the benefits of being a part of the Center and it's fine activities, and the opportunities to participate were even more diverse in timing, special interest programs, affordability, and ethnic appeal.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Financial support and general support by the entire community.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 23, 2010

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February 23, 2010

I have been involved in the Hanover Arts and Activities Center with my family for the past few years first as Asst. Director for the Summer Musicals and more recently as a board member. I live about 20 minutes away from the "center", but feel as though it is a home away from home. People make you feel so welcome and accepted (as though you are part of the community). The many activities held at the center are usually at no cost or very little cost which is a great feature when you have 4 small children and want them to have good experiences for low cost. It's also neat to be part of something with such a great history. I was president of the Ashland Junior Woman's Club which was responsible for acquiring the Center and keeping it from impending doom. The Center [for me] is like a lighthouse or a beacon for the community...always there, always open, always welcoming.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the people. They have been so welcoming to me and my family and made it feel like a second home.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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