Release Date: May 6, 2020

Downtown #Strongmont Business of the Day: Firehouse Art Center

Downtown #Strongmont Business of the Day - Firehouse Art Center - 667 4th Ave. 

The Firehouse Art Center is Longmont’s leading contemporary art center featuring national and local artists with over a dozen exhibitions a year. A cornerstone of the Longmont Creative District, they offer educational programs, events and membership programs to support creativity for all. Their mission is to raise cultural awareness and understanding of the arts in the regional community. Follow them on FacebookTwitter, or visit their website to learn more and get involved in their creative culture!

The Firehouse is currently doing LIVE STREAM KIDS CLASSES at 1pm every Mon/Wed/Fri on Facebook! Today's class will be printing mermaids. Supplies needed: Styrofoam plate, paint (tempera is best and metallic is suggested), and paper. If anyone needs supplies for the art class, they can pick up Styrofoam trays at the Firehouse starting at 9am today. 


Q & A with Elaine Waterman, Executive Director

Q: Why you decided to open in Downtown Longmont.

A: Since being founded in 1986, the Firehouse Art Center has served the community by offering art education for all ages and creating opportunities for artists to work, create and exhibit. The Firehouse began as a collaboration between The Longmont Council for the Arts and local artists (some of whom are still actively connected with the Firehouse). They renovated the old firehouse and created a place for the community to connect with the arts. Ten years later, the Firehouse established a permanent art gallery, classrooms and three artist studios. That is how the Firehouse was born. I wasn't around in 1986 when the Firehouse was founded, so I can only answer based on my personal experience why I think Longmont is the perfect place for the Firehouse. Longmont is close enough to the bustle of Denver to be inspired by the urban aesthetic, but also far enough to find the wild beauty that inspires an artist's soul. Downtown Longmont is fueled by a spirit of innovation, creativity and community and that is why I feel like it is the perfect place for the Firehouse. 

Q: How can your customers make Firehouse Art Center their own favorite place, and how can they take ownership of supporting you during this time? 

A: We're closed at this time, but we have moved on line offering kids classes, gallery walk throughs, and artist talks. We are looking for fun ways to connect with our community while fostering a sense of creativity. So make art, go outside and draw with chalk, paint a rock and leave it for someone to find, express yourself with poetry, livestream a concert, do whatever connects you to your love of creating and appreciating art. When we are allowed to reopen, please come back and let us share that love of creating and appreciating art with you. 

And if you have the ability to, please consider donating to support the Firehouse Art Center. Due to being closed for almost two months, your support is even more crucial at this time! 

Q. What do you enjoy most about doing business? 

A: What I love about the Firehouse Art Center is bringing art to our community. Whether it is through art education, and seeing the pride and the smiles when a student shares his artworks, to sharing art appreciation and thoughtful discourse at a gallery exhibit. I love being in the community at our out of house events, and seeing how art unifies our community, no matter age, race or ethnicity, and how art and culture has the potential to improve our lives in so many ways. One of our students, Violet, shares her creation with pride!  


Q: What differentiates you from other businesses? 

A: The Firehouse Art Center is the only arts organization devoted exclusively to fine arts exhibitions and education in our city. Open approximately 250 days each year with no admission fee, exhibitions are installed almost every month in three gallery spaces on site. In 2019, we offered over 130 educational activities to our community, including free classes to reach underserved areas of the community. The Firehouse actively supports artists in our community by offering exhibit opportunities, social get togethers, workshops and professional development. We also provide the writers of Longmont programming three weekends a month for a workshop, critique and community reading. We also offer community and cultural events such as the Dia de los Muertos Procession of the Gigantes, The Catrina Ball and ArtWalk.

During the Stay at Home order, we'll be featuring a different Downtown Longmont business each day. These small businesses are the heartbeat of our community and are a big reason why this is such a great place to live, work, and play. This is a difficult time for everyone, and small businesses and their owners and employees are no exception.

There are many ways you can support our local small businesses during this time, from liking, following, and sharing their content on social media, to making online or over-the-phone purchases of products or gift cards. You can also donate to the Strongmont Fund, created to support local Longmont businesses negatively affected by COVID-19.