Focus on the Masters is on the move and needs the community’s help to find a permanent home

FOTM’s collection of artist biographies is a living time capsule, they need a new home.

Focus on the Masters (FOTM) Archive & Library is about to embark on one of the most challenging chapters in their 24-year history and needs the community’s support. FOTM is looking for a new home. They are asking for your help in their search for a donated building or location to lease to own that can not only accommodate the extensive FOTM Archive & Library, but includes a space for exhibitions and a gathering place where they can increase their community outreach.

The ideal location would be in a high-profile area with lots of foot traffic to increase their interaction with the public. The Archive & Library needs about 3,000 square feet to accommodate the historic collection, the staff and volunteer offices, research facility and community gathering space. Ideally, the new FOTM Archive & Library will be a hub of activity celebrating the arts through exhibitions, arts education and scholarship. The goal is to have a facility that will allow FOTM to showcase their unique cultural assets and enrich our thriving art community. The vision is a new age Archive & Library with a focus on the arts.

FOTM is one of the most unique non-profit organizations in California. Its collection of artist biographies, oral histories, digital library of artists work, publications, video recordings and ephemera is a living time capsule that continues to document our shared humanity daily. Its extensive community outreach stems from the artists in the archive including their popular Artist Spotlight monthly meet-the-artist interview series and their Learning to See Outreach – an 8-week cross curricular in-school, hands-on art program teaching about the artists who live and work in our community. FOTM mounts student exhibitions throughout the year in the communities in which the students live. Class locations include Ventura County school districts, Turning Point Foundation (serving adults with mental illness), community centers and youth organizations.

The fall of the economy in 2008/09 hit FOTM very hard. All income streams were reduced and expenses were cut in every capacity. To stabilize and restructure, FOTM moved into a vacant building in 2010, located at 505 Poli St., behind Ventura City Hall. FOTM leased a 2,000-square foot facility in the City of Ventura’s newly established Non-Profit Sustainability Center (NPSC). The stability of the NPSC has allowed FOTM (and many other non-profits) the opportunity to stabilize and continue to serve our community. As a result of their restructuring, FOTM hired a new Education Director, Aimee French, and three Learning to See instructors to teach in the Ventura County schools.

In 2016, when the City of Ventura allowed Brooks Institute to displace the NPSC, FOTM moved the collection to two small offices suites on third floor of the 505 Poli building. With city plans to develop the 505 Poli building soon, FOTM needs the stability of a permanent home. Please contact Donna Granata at Donna@FocusOnTheMasters.com or call 653.2501 with any leads you may have. Thank you. To learn more about FOTM please visit www.FocusOnTheMasters.com.

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