ArtBar stimulates thirst for arts endeavors
Artists famously drink to stimulate inspiration. However, at ArtBar, the money artists spend goes into the community and perhaps back into their own pockets as well.
ArtBar, an arm of Catalyst Club Inc., is a members-only performance space and bar created to support local art. They accomplish this by donating their annual net profits to various art-based nonprofits around New Mexico. (See previous Alibi coverage here.) It’s a unique idea that came to fruition last week when ArtBar opened its doors on July 11 to its founding members.
The venue was spacious, accentuated by high ceilings and sizeable windows that skirted much of the building. A large chandelier hung near the stage, refracting light onto excited art lovers, sponsors, organizers and artistes alike. The alluring aroma of Lobster Mac n Cheese drifted from a small kitchen operated by The Supper Truck. Large black comfy couches provided space to sip Bulleit Bourbon and people watch: skinny jeans-wearing hipsters, artsy girls in bright summer dresses, suited professionals and sandal-wearing vacation types. A well-stocked bar, despite its small beer selection, quenched the thirst of members as they danced to Carlos the Tall, a local cover band.
Though the opening night party went off without a hitch, ArtBar is still finding its footing in terms of target audience. The decor felt a little sterile, aside from a cool red light along the bar and a few paintings. It was suggested to me that the lack of original music and art on display represented a missed opportunity to get the local art community involved. Striking a balance between a youthful, beer-drinking, artistic crowd and an older and likely wealthier one will be essential to ArtBar’s survival. Hopefully, further artist involvement will become an integral part of this balance as they continue to grow.
With membership at $30 per year, ArtBar is an easy way to give back to the art community. A membership can be purchased at the door or from their website. I mean really, where else can you practice philanthropy by simply drinking a delicious beverage?
Best of Burque 2011
Life in Burque
Nonprofits! Don’t Lose Your Tax-Exempt Status
According to United Way of Central New Mexico, Congress passed a law that requires all nonprofits to file a form with the IRS. And 2,290 New Mexico nonprofits haven’t done it yet. The deadline is Friday, May 15.
Nonprofits that take in more than $25,000 a year have to file a 990 or 990-EZ. Those that take in less than that can file an electronic version of 990-N.
Find out if your organization needs to file its annual return at the National Center for Charitable Statistics site.
Amy Duggan, director of the Center for Nonprofit Excellence, says groups would have to come up with $750 to reinstate their tax status if they miss the deadline.
So pass it on.
They Made It Easy for Us to Do Good Things
In the news business (*puffs cigar, leans back in chair, puts feet on desk), I often find myself saying things like, "Seems like there should be some kind of group that could ... ". Then, months later, I'll find out there's a nonprofit in the state that fills exactly that need.
The directory delivers contact information, website links, region and areas served, budget, staff size, etc.
"An estimated 6,000 nonprofits in New Mexico are conducting essential work," writes the center in a news release. These groups build "health care clinics, food banks, domestic violence shelters, job skill training programs, affordable housing, childcare, youth mentoring programs, after-school programs, arts and cultural centers, community gardens, and animal rescue and adoption sites."
The online list should make it easier for people to volunteer or make donations. You can use the search tool to find nonprofits that work in your corner of the state or on issues you care about. Plus, the center says, the nonprofits can find each other and collaborate.