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AAOC hopes online donations net new lights

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By Kenny Colston

With the help of a few hundred friends, the Arts Association of Oldham County (AAOC) wants to put Gallery 104 in a brand new light.

AAOC has started an online fundraising drive to help Gallery 104 in La Grange, which is owned and operated by AAOC, buy new LED lights to showcase artists’ work.

The non-profit organization has turned to the website power2give.org to help raise more than $8,000 for the lighting. Power2Give is run by the Fund for the Arts in Louisville and has helped many local arts organization fundraise for various causes.

AAOC Executive Director Kathy Dowling said Gallery 104’s current lighting was made for more residential use than for an art gallery, leaving many artists’ work poorly-lit. At certain times of the day, the gallery even looks closed when it isn’t, Dowling said.

“The LED lights will provide cost savings in energy costs as well,” Dowling said. “Currently we have four to five light bulbs out a week.”

Tom Kinney, a member of the AAOC who is helping with the project, said the new LED lights will last 20 years before needing to be replaced.

“The number one benefit is it’s going to give us more light for a lot less money,” he said.

The fundraising drive has less than 60 days remaining and so far, less than $200 dollars has been raised for the new lights. The AAOC has called its fundraising drive “Let There Be Light.”

Dowling said she plans to talk to the Oldham County Fiscal Court about a potential matching donation, as well as Fund for the Arts. But those matching gifts would only be a possibility if the AAOC can raise a substantial amount of the needed money on its own.

Kinney said the upgrade to new lights could be made in a single weekend while the gallery was closed, meaning there won’t be a big disturbance to the gallery or to artists’ work if the funding happens.

“It’s basically taking down the old track system and putting up the new one,” he said.

Dowling said the new lights are important because Gallery 104 is one of the few, if only, art galleries between Louisville and Greater Cincinnati, leading many rural artists to travel to the gallery and display their artwork.

“We’re starting to be a destination shop,” Dowling said. “We’re the last art gallery on Interstate 71 before you get to Northern Kentucky.”

Dowling said without support from the community through this online fundraising drive, the gallery would not be able to upgrade to the new lighting. And Kinney said that if a large group of individuals each gives a little bit, meeting the necessary goal would be easy.

“If people just realized it doesn’t take a lot of money from each individual,” Kinney said. “If we can get 800 people to give 10 bucks, we could really get rolling.”

 

 

 To donate to the AAOC’s “Let There Be Light” project on power2give.org, go to power2give.org/go/p/2191.