Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Saranac Lake ArtWorks gains not-for-profit status

There’s a New Not-for-Profit in the North Country.

Saranac Lake ArtWorks, a community-based organization founded and operating since 2008, recently announced that it has achieved not-for-profit status as a 501(c)3, enhancing its ability to support local artists and cultural organizations throughout the area. 

Saranac Lake ArtWorks has established the tri-lakes region as an arts destination over the past 12 years by bringing area artists, galleries and cultural organizations together to market their events and work collectively. Saranac Lake ArtWorks has also presented its own signature events:

  •  ArtWorks Studio Tours
  •  Adirondack Plein Air Festival
  • 3rd Thursday ArtWalks (now managed by Saranac Lake ArtWorks after many years under the administration of its founder, local artist Tim Fortune)

According to Sandra Hildreth, one of Saranac Lake ArtWork’s founding members, “The main goal of the organization has always been to use the arts for a positive economic impact on the community. It is believed that the arts will often attract visitors who then discover and value other aspects of the region. We know Saranac Lake can attract hikers and paddlers and fisherman – people who enjoy the outdoors. But through the endurance and growth of Saranac Lake ArtWorks we also know that this community can attract people who value the arts,  such as theatre, live music, the purchase of artwork or participation in a writing workshop or dance class.”

Fortune, Hildreth, and Mark Kurtz are among the many professional artists who have been with Saranac Lake ArtWorks since its beginning and can attest to the growth in the arts and in the visitors’ response to that growth.

Saranac Lake ArtWorks has also expanded well outside Saranac Lake, now representing individual artists, galleries, and other arts organizations from Saratoga to Plattsburgh, and from Montreal to Tupper Lake.

Saranac Lake ArtWorks has accomplished much of its past success without direct donations from the community. Professional membership fees, event sponsors, grants, and commissions from sales of artwork have traditionally helped fund the activities of the organization. Now, as a 501(c)3, it can receive charitable donations on a tax-deductible basis from all who wish to support the artists of this region.

Saranac Lake ArtWorks has been in supportive partnerships with both BluSeed Studios of Saranac Lake and the Saranac Lake Rotary Foundation and, according to Hildreth, they thank both organizations for helping Saranac Lake ArtWorks take the next step to achieving its official not-for-profit status. In addition to donations from individuals, Saranac Lake ArtWorks will now be able to apply directly for more grants available to non-profits supportive of the arts.  This growth in financial support will mean more artistic creations, performances and productions for the community at large.

Saranac Lake ArtWorks members continue to create and produce, even in this difficult time. Some of their work can be found on the website which provides links to member artists, galleries and cultural organizations extending throughout the entire North Country. Many of these artists and cultural organizations are offering virtual classes or studio visits and can often arrange for online purchases.

For more information about Saranac Lake ArtWorks email:

 Photo: Tim Fortune at work in his studio in Saranac Lake


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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

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