Gallery One's 50th

Gallery One employees have been busy hanging art and re-doing retail displays in preparation for 50th anniversary celebrations last summer. As a continuation of that celebration, Gallery One recently announced the establishment of the Legacy Endowment Fund.

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The vision is more than a wish list and the Gallery One Visual Arts Center’s campaign to continue to support artists and create a lasting relationship with the community gained traction with its recent announcement to establish a Legacy Endowment Fund, according to the news release from the gallery.

It started as the Ellensburg Community Art Gallery and for the past 50 years, Gallery One has proven the arts can be an engine for economic development, that it is a place for artists of all ages to foster their creative spirit, and that the arts build meaningful and life long relationships.

“As our 50th anniversary approached, Gallery One’s leadership and board of directors determined the need to take our strategic objectives to a new level, to a remarkable level, while ensuring adequate staffing, and maintaining our financial strength,” said Cathy Bambrick, vice president of the Gallery One board.

Things started coming together in September 2018 with the focus on achieving 100 percent support by the board of directors and the gallery’s long-standing members. The gallery raised over $200,000 in initial pledges and is officially taking the campaign public this month with the goal of raising an additional $200,000 over the next two years to meet their initial goal of $400,000 in founding contributions.

“The concept of establishing an endowment for Gallery One has been a long-term goal,” said Monica Miller, executive director. “During a board retreat last fall, we determined it’s the right time for us — we are ready and the community is ready to ensure Gallery One is here in perpetuity and Ellensburg continues to be an artistic inspiration, that Ellensburg continues to be an artistic inspiration and destination for the area.”

Miller added, “I moved to Ellensburg in 2010. Since then, the Gallery has become a very important part of my family’s life. My son motivates me to make sure we have the arts available in and out of the schools. My husband launched his art career at Gallery One, and I have met all of my friends here. There are so many stories like ours, families whose generations have been impacted by our commitment to both creativity and community. I’m invested in seeing this place survive for families like mine, for future artists and kids like my son over the next 50 years. I’m overwhelmed by the response to our campaign so far and see it as a testament to our community support.”

Gallery One’s last major fund-raising effort was 20 years ago. In 1999 it launched a capital campaign raising over $1 million in donations and matching grants to completely renovate the historic 1889 Stewart Building in the heart of Ellensburg’s downtown.

In addition to rotating exhibits of contemporary art, Gallery One offers a variety of quarterly classes; an art after school program; a gift store featuring regional artisans; a full ceramics studio available for rent and classes; inexpensive studio spaces for artists; and facility rentals for the community.

Gallery One Visual Arts Center is a nonprofit organization that relies on community involvement and donations to keep its doors open. For more information, contact Monica Miller, executive director, Gallery One Visual Arts Center at 509-925-2670 or visit

Rodney Harwood: award-winning journalist and columnist. Lover of golf and the written word. I can be reached at


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