The Carnegie Arts Center has released its annual report for 2014 – a year that featured some world-renowned artists, field trips for nearly 3,000 local schoolkids and one unforgettable rock concert.
The downtown Turlock venue, in its third full year after a major restoration and expansion, hosted 10 exhibitions attended by about 4,700 people and held 59 classes for budding artists.
The highlight was Carnegie ROCKS!, a May fundraiser featuring former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley and other rock icons. Night Ranger performed at the event, which was centered around Turlock businessman Matt Swanson’s collection of guitars and other music memorabilia.
“We did a full-blown rock concert with rock and roll legends,” center Director Lisa McDermott said. “It was on a scale the Carnegie has not seen before.”
It was the center’s most lucrative event, raising about $35,000. The Carnegie reported $422,133 in revenue and $446,736 in expenses in the fiscal year ending July 1. The gap was covered by investment earnings on an endowment of about $1.3 million.
McDermott talked about the report during a Tuesday afternoon interview at the North Broadway center. Three hours later and three blocks away, she presented it to the Turlock City Council.
The city owns the site, which started in 1916 as one of many libraries funded by industrialist Andrew Carnegie. It was undergoing renovation in 2005 when a fire started by burglars nearly destroyed it. The city spent nearly $7 million to restore the original building and construct a large addition behind it.
The tail end of an exhibition of ceramics by Pablo Picasso started 2014. An exploration of printmaking by Joan Miró, another famed Spanish artist, came in the fall.
The Carnegie also displayed the works of local and regional artists and hosted lectures, such as one on how European treasures were protected from Nazi looters in World War II. The center also had music and dance, from the Turlock Uke Jamz to Latin jazz and a Swedish folk group.
One effort fell short: The 59 art classes drew just 123 people. “Enrollment in our art classes continues to be a challenge,” McDermott told the council.
The center plans to boost the number of low-income children helped through the Justin Ferrari Memorial Scholarship Fund. It is named for the late son of John and Jeani Ferrari, longtime supporters of the arts and other Turlock causes.
Jeani Ferrari told the council that one program, the monthly Family Fridays, already is succeeding. “It’s an opportunity for parents and children to work on projects together,” she said.
Earlier Tuesday, several kids took part in a class led by Mackenzie Alameda, using pencils to sketch a few pieces of artificial fruit laid out on a table. It was the last session of a weekly series that touched on artistic movements and techniques.
“We learned how to draw elongated faces and about cubism,” said Rylee Merritt, 10, of Oakdale.
“I liked doing the elephant with long legs,” said Jasmine Sauter, 11, of Livingston, adding that this came with a lesson about Salvador Dali.
The report noted that the Carnegie was rented out for weddings, business meetings and other events on 30 occasions in 2014. It collaborated on art, music and drama with California State University, Stanislaus, and other partners. Field trips brought elementary and high school students from as far as Los Banos and Sonora.
The center has two full-time and three part-time employees, along with about 70 volunteers. McDermott was named director earlier this month. She had been the assistant director, then interim director after the retirement of Rebecca Phillips Abbott.
McDermott said planning has started for the 100th anniversary of the opening of the original building. It was dedicated as a library in September 1916, then became a youth center in 1968 and an arts center in 1982.
“We are extremely excited about what the future holds for the Carnegie,” McDermott said.