WVHighlands STArt Fund

TYPE OF FUND:  Designated

DATE ESTABLISHED:  Initiated November 2013

PURPOSE:  To provide sustainable funding for the STArt Project, a community supported corporative project to promote and benefit students of the local (Tucker County) schools and the general population.

DISTRIBUTION:  Upon the recommendation of the Grants Committee and approval by the Board of Directors of TCF.

VARIANCE POWER:  If, in the judgment of the TCF Board of Directors, the restrictions and conditions of the fund become unnecessary, incapable of fulfillment or inconsistent with the charitable needs of the community, the TCF Board of Directors maintains the right to modify the terms of this fund. 

FUNDING:  The fund was initiated a $2,000 donation from WVHighlands Artisans Group

BACKGROUND:  The WVHighlands Artisans Group initiated the STArt Project (School-Town Art Project, thus the acronym) in 2009 as outreach to its community in fulfillment of its IRS designation as a 501.c.3 charitable organization, duly registered with the State of West Virginia in Tucker County. Acting on the twin convictions that viable communities promote both education and economic well-being for its citizens and that the arts contribute measurable benefits to both, the STArt Project had the threefold purpose to: support art instruction through the county schools; give visibility to the results; and encourage students to take active roles in the indigenous arts community. That purpose was in line with nationally demonstrable evidence that student involvement in the arts as part of the school experience can be a great motivator towards general success in school and that, similarly, a significant concentration of working artists of all kinds in a community stimulates economic development and adds to the quality of life.

STArt’s Community Advisors evolved out of the interested group of citizens who supported and encouraged the programs of its early years. Over time, the Advisors envisioned broadening the scope of the STArt Project to: involve more students; encompass all the arts in its programs; cultivate community support and participation; interact with the business community; and achieve self-sustaining status for STArt’s finances. The STArt leadership and volunteers continued to cultivate the facets of that vision of fostering educational and community well-being and fortifying the links between school and town through the arts with these long-range goals:

  • Sponsor the exhibition of artwork of all student populations of Tucker County for community appreciation.
  • Encourage cooperative projects among the retail arts venues of Tucker County.
  • Foster intergenerational participation in public arts projects to benefit both community spirit and public sites.
  • Enhance public access to arts instruction as continuing programs in education and civic life.
  • Cultivate civic awareness of the benefits of the arts and artistic expression in education and life.
  • Advocate administrative understanding of and funding for the instructional and aspirational goals of the arts in public education.
  • Promote Tucker County as a viable arts destination for tourists.

In 2013, the WVHighlands Artisans Group, through its Executive Committee, approved the establishment of a designated fund in the Tucker Community Foundation to be called the “WVHighlands STArt Fund”. The purpose of the Fund is to assist and perpetuate the vision of its STArt Project and to encourage broad public support of its goals.