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The Starkweather Art & Cultural Center is a cultural and educational organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and fostering the arts in the Historic Village of Romeo and the surrounding communities.
The Starkweather Art and Cultural Center is a non-profit art center located on Main Street in the Village of Romeo. Once blighted and under siege by a host of unknowns and uncertainties, the Starkweather Society brought to life the dream of Helen Starkweather, our benefactress, and turned her 1863 historic residence into a charming community jewel, the Starkweather Art and Cultural Center.
When she died in 1987, at the age of eighty-four, Miss Starkweather left her estate to the Romeo Historical Society and the Village of Romeo. She stipulated in her will that her home and studio located at 219 North Main Street be used as an art and cultural center, "... dedicated to promoting and fostering the appreciation of art and artisans and to support the preservation of the character and quality of the Village".
In 1989, in support of her legacy, the then Board of Trustees created the Starkweather Society, a not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to fulfilling the wishes expressed in Miss Starkweather's will.
With the mission in place by Miss Starkweather to: preserve, promote and foster the arts in the historic Village of Romeo and the surrounding communities, the vision became clear. By utilizing the Starkweather building the Starkweather Society's vision is to provide the historic Village of Romeo and the surrounding communities the opportunity to express and explore their artistic talents and appreciation through a diversity of exhibits, classes, special events and sales gallery.
Since incorporating many people have contributed to that vision. From setting the groundwork for non-profit status, to assessing the building needs, to drawing the renovation plans, to organizing the volunteers, to contributing to the manual labor, to finding the funding to keep things moving. The community took ownership of the vision and made it happen.On November 13, 1999 due to the generous contribution of the Ford Motor Company Romeo Engine Plant, L&L Products of Romeo and the dedicated efforts of countless volunteers, the former home and studio of Miss Starkweather's was officially opened to the public as the Starkweather Art and Cultural Center (SACC).
Since the opening of the front galleries, the SACC has established a sale and gift gallery, representing artists from all over Michigan and hosted over sixty-two combined art exhibitions and special events. Currently, the SACC is in the process of renovating the upstairs galleries to be used for workshops and multi-purpose exhibit space. The estimated completion date is set for winter of 2006.
The SACC operates by the generosity of its membership dues and volunteer labor. Likewise, the SACC has been fortunate enough to supplement its operation and renovation from grants, sponsorships, donations and the efforts of fundraising.
Miss Starkweather understood the value of art in a community. She viewed the Village of Romeo as a place preserved and ageless, and was devoted to the unique charm and character that has set the Village apart from the surrounding suburban development. It is the goal of the SACC to continue to build on the spirit of those values by providing a creative outlet that enriches all our lives. Most civilizations are judged by their cultural legacy they leave to future generations. We believe the Starkweather Art and Cultural Center will continue to grow into a legacy not only Miss Starkweather, but the entire community, will be proud of.
- Michelle Rebar
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