I am writing in support of the Emery Community Arts Center in Farmington. We are fortunate the university houses the Sandy River Players, the Community Chorus and the UMF Community Orchestra. Our facilities, however, can’t meet the needs of area talent. The Emery Community Arts Center would showcase our respective disciplines and support a vibrant downtown.

Arts groups bring in not only interesting people, but also business. Audiences spend money; so do artists. As a photographer, I know. As a member of the Beloit Poetry Journal staff, I know that we not only help to feed the soul of this community, but also support businesses such as Franklin Printing, Heritage Printing, Tranten’s and local bookstores

When my husband and I looked toward retirement, we considered Portland, but chose to live in Farmington because of the university, the healthy downtown and the way we saw these entities interact.

Consider the UMF Fitness Center. Daily, I can admire a 90-year-old walking the track and Special Olympics students swimming, or take classes with people from many walks of life. Farmington thrives because of the vision that created such a center.

Now imagine an Arts Center run with such competence and vision. Imagine a venue for children’s art, fiddling competitions and visual art displays. The Emery Community Arts Center would create business and highlight local talent. This gift will build a much-needed center. In tough times art feeds the soul. It is time to “Just say, ‘Yes!'” and get on with the shows.

Ann Arbor, Farmington

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