Members of Human Services Committee expressed satisfaction with the job Gregory Hallock has done as director of GO ART! since being appointed to the job in July 2017.
Since Hallock was promoted, he's instituted a number of new and innovative programs, expanded gallery shows, acquired a liquor license for beer and wine sales at Seymore Place, instituted profitable fundraisers, and generally raised the profile of GO ART! in the community.
"We've had a new philosophy," Hallock said. "In the past, the philosophy was just to stay alive so they stopped doing some things to save money. Now we do things so people see us doing things and then they support what we're doing."
In each of the past year, GO ART! has taken in more money than it has spent but because of depreciation on Seymore Place, the organization officially lost money, at least until 2018, when GO ART! was in the black by $40,000.
All of the organization's debts, except for a mortgage on Seymore Place, taken out for building maintenance, have been paid off.
One of the most successful fundraisers for GO ART! over the past year was the celebrity bartender challenge. Various prominent community members competed as celebrity bartenders with tips going to GO ART! as donations. The series of nights with celebrity bartenders bought in $13,000.
Hallock said he wants to continue the concept by bringing in a celebrity bartender every Thursday. One of the benefits is the guest bartenders invite a bunch of their friends.
Nearly 40 percent of the people who attended these events last year had never been to GO ART! before, Hallock said, and the events also helped attract a younger audience, which has been hard for GO ART! to reach in recent years.
The director is continuing to pursue big plans. He wants to get an elevator installed in the building and wants to expand the art garden behind the building. He is seeking grants for both projects.
"You've done an excellent job to bring exposure to GO ART! and the building," said Andrew Young, chairman of the committee. "It's heads and shoulders above what we've seen in recent years. I see and hear about GO ART! activities everywhere and it seems to be paying dividends for you."
Hallock said the credit doesn't belong to just him alone.
"We have an awesome board and staff," Hallock said. "I'm the only one with a degree but everyone is passionate about it."