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IRS reinstates Art League’s charitable status

By Kathy Prucnell, Islander Reporter

“We have our 501c3 status,” said Laura McGeary into the phone July 26 with excitement her voice.

        “We’re already in contact with someone who does grant writing,” she added.

        The beleaguered president of the Anna Maria Island Art League, 5312 Holmes Blvd., Holmes Beach, announced the Internal Revenue Service reinstatement, adding that the good news will soon be on the league’s website and letters will be going out to its 200 members.

        In May, the 22-year-old art league closed its gallery and canceled its summer programs, unable to meet expenses. Many of its board members resigned and blamed McGeary for the financial problems.

        According to McGeary, the league’s problems were largely due to the loss of its nonprofit status, making it difficult to attract large corporate donors, as well as the general downturn in the economy, rising costs and too few volunteers to staff the league’s two annual festivals.

        The league learned it had lost its 501c3 eligibility in June 2011 after it learned three past years tax returns had not been filed, she said.

        After the May closure, McGeary maintained the league was not closed, but “on vacation,” and began joining with others in the artist community to rekindle a schedule of summer events.

        In July, Chris Galanopoulos held haircut fundraisers. There also were printmaking classes with Tammy Barrons, floor-cloth workshops with instructor Deena Atkinson and a photography camp with James Corwin Johnson. The league also is planning free photography lectures and a boot camp workshop in August.

        The league has a history on Anna Maria Island of showcasing local talent, offering art classes, camps and workshops, Winterfest and Springfest art and craft shows, and a scholarship program of art classes for deserving students.

        In a press release, McGeary said, “The Anna Maria Island Art League is pleased to announce we have our tax exempt status and contributions to us are deductible, according to IRS guidelines, and we also are qualified to receive tax deductible bequests and gifts.”

        For more information or to make a donation, call the league at 941-778-2099 or email McGeary at 4arts4ever@gmail.com.

SIDEBAR

New class, summer hours announced

        The Anna Maria Art League has a new collage class and summer hours.

        Classy Collage will be offered 7-10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3, at a “Girls Night In” at the gallery, 5312 Holmes Blvd., Holmes Beach. The cost is $35. Materials are included.

        The league will be open 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays throughout the summer weeks.

        Information available at the office includes class registration, workshops, playshops, volunteer and membership opportunities. Details on the league’s annual festivals, Winterfest and Springfest, also are available.

        For more information, call 941-778-2099 during office hours, leave a message or email 4arts4ever@gmail.com.

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