Renate and Mike Medley moved to Mill City in 2006 and embraced small town life by getting involved. After discovering that shrinking school budgets had limited arts opportunity in area schools, and knowing what an impact music art and drama had on their lives, they co-founded Santiam Hearts to Arts. They initiated several community art projects before establishing 501 (c) 3 status in January of 2008.
There has always been dialog about what community benefit could come from the arts. Everyone seems to agree that the arts: visual, music, craft, dance etc. really do have a lot to do with our history and culture, so our first goal is to remind people of the impact that the arts have on them every day.
Arts in School:
We discovered that our local school district has suffered from budget cuts that caused a lack of funding for the arts. Therefore, one of the prime objectives of Santiam Hearts to Arts (H2A) was to develop and provide programs that address student need. With the understanding that school district budget dollars have been diminished, H2A sought balance achieved in the distribution of available funds for sports, academic, and arts education and activity. We seek to reestablish art and music education and arts extracurricular activity as a solid part of the Santiam School District curriculum.
Arts in the Community:
Aside from school activities, we also pursued community art related projects to citizens of all ages: toddlers, seniors, teens, and we are especially interested in programs that bridge the gaps between generations, cultures, economic and educational differences.
Our Original Mission:
Since its establishment, H2A has been governed by a board of directors, all working on a volunteer basis, receiving no compensation for their services. H2A is a non-membership corporation, developed in the light of the following guiding principles:
To enrich the lifestyle of the greater Santiam Community through a unified effort to promote a diversity of cultural endeavors
Further, it is our responsibility to promote visibility and raise funds for cultural arts activities through innovative solicitation to attract public and private support in achieving our goals.
We are committed to becoming a powerful spotlight in arts education and awareness.
We are dedicated to the welfare of our community members through programs that clarify the historical and technical aspects of the arts and provide venues for engaging arts related social interaction.
We are confident that these principles will help people understand the merit of cultural activity and encourage them to promote this value to future generations.