OKEECHOBEE — Okeechobee Main Street Arts & Culture Alliance (ACA) experienced a great loss with the departure of Bridgette Waldau this week. Waldau built the alliance from the ground up beginning 20 years ago. When Waldau moved to Okeechobee and learned there was no art and culture alliance, she determined to start one.
Currently, the alliance has 40 members with various artistic skills. Some paint. Some make jewelry. Some do woodwork. The Okeechobee Community Theatre and Our Village are also members of the alliance.
Although she and her husband are retiring to Vencie, Fla., Waldau does not want to see the ACA end. They are looking for a replacement for Waldau and may have someone interested, she said at the meeting held Oct, 24 at the gallery on Northeast Second Street. But, since it is not a sure thing yet, if you know anyone who might be interested, please contact Main Street as soon as possible.
“The growth of the arts here in Okeechobee over the past decade has been remarkable, and we hope the same enthusiasm and drive will continue for years to come,” stated Waldau.
“Okeechobee deserves a place for artists. Becoming a local arts agency was such an honor for the community, and I really hope that as time goes by, you all realize the value of this, not only for the community, but mostly for you.”
Waldau stressed the need for artist participation. “We need volunteers to man the gift shop, to change out the artwork on the walls or at the courthouse. More than anything else though, we need you to get the word out,” said Waldau.
All artists are welcome to be a part of the ACA. It does not matter what your skill level is, what your age is, what your style, genre or subject matter is. You are welcome.
The ACA holds three main events each year: The Art & Wine Walk, Oktoberfest and the Top of the Lake Art Fest with Taste of Okeechobee.
ACA is housed in the same building as Okeechobee Main Street and is a part of that organization. The building serves as an art gallery, a gift shop and a place for art classes to be taught as well as offices for Main Street activity.
Anyone interested in teaching a class related to the arts in any way should reach out to Main Street executive director Jenna Stephens until a new Arts Director is hired.
There are multiple levels of membership with ACA:
For more information about ACA, please visit ACA or look for Okeechobee Main Street on Facebook. ACA is located at 111 N.E. Second Street. Their phone number is 863-357-6246.