While most of us enjoyed a lunch from Table on Main and while welcoming a couple of guests, we learned a lot about The Phipps Center for the Arts from Executive Director Darby Lunceford. When he asked who’d been to The Phipps, many hands went up; when he asked who knew how it works, no hands.
The Phipps has a novel, perhaps unique, structure with an overall governing board that incorporates specialty boards representing six aspects of the arts world: drama, children, music, visual arts, dance, and volunteers. Darby communicated his pride and appreciation for the way the structure makes The Phipps a community-led arts organization.
The Phipps Center for the Arts was founded 1983 by Phipps Family Foundation in a building that had been the Elks Lodge. The facility expansion begun in 1992 has just been completed with the addition of dedicated galleries, studios and theaters. Aspects of renovation were finished in 2021. In response to a question, Darby said that the recent storm caused some damage, but nothing like the damage to the Hudson Library nearby.
COVID caused closure of the facility March-August 2020. The Center re-opened with children’s programs. The decision has been made to move forward with programs, with some taking advantage of the ability to gather outdoors. Darby left us some brochures and other informative literature.