Raw Arts to buy Central Sq. building

The Daily ItemLYNN ? Raw Art Works is solidifying its downtown presence by purchasing a three-story building at 37 Central Square and successfully raising more than $1.2 million through a capital campaign to pay for it along with additional programming.According to RAW spokesman Susan Sakash, the Believing is Building fund-raiser exceeded its goal in mid-December during a performance that brought in $550.To officially recognize the accomplishment, Raw Art Works will hold a community-wide victory party Friday, March 2, from 6-8 p.m. at the studio n called RAW Space.Sakash said the evening event would feature the artwork and energy of RAW artists, as well as remarks by Mary Flannery, the organization’s founder and artistic director; Kit Jenkins, the executive director; and Kathy Sherbrooke, RAW Board president and the chief executive officer of Circles, Inc.”The magic $1.2 million goal was reached in a very fitting way, at the RAW Chiefs “RAW In Concert” fund-raiser on Dec. 15,” said Sakash, explaining that the RAW Chiefs are a group of 16 teen mentors who assist staff therapists in leading arts groups for younger children. “Together the chiefs decided to host their own fundraiser ? an amazing night of live art and performance ? to raise funds from their community for the Buy-A-Brush phase of the Believing is Building Capital Campaign.The event featured dance performances by Da Blackouts and the Oreos as well as musical numbers by RAW artists, staff, and alumni. Money collected at the door and throughout the night ? over $550 ? helped push RAW past the $1.1 million mark. The night was highlighted by yet another announcement n that that Amelia Peabody Foundation was making a $100,000 grant toward the campaign, effectively exceeding the $1.2 million goal.The Buy-A-Brush strategy raised about $38,000, or more than double the $15,000 anticipated, according to Sakash. To become a member of the Buy-a-Brush Brigade, individuals or groups had to physically plunk down $100 per brush. Virtual brushes were also sold on the RAW website where contributors could use a credit card.Donors who gave $100 or more toward the brushes will be acknowledged in a vibrant art installation that will grow as testament to the collective vision of RAW’s artists, friends, and families, Sakash said.

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