To act as a Hub for Creativity and Community Collaboration by holding classes/workshops, providing access to studio space and equipment, and offering a vital venue for teaching/Learning, social exchange, gatherings and events. Oh, And we Have an excellent café to keep everyone nourished while we all go about all this important business, together.
As former Director of Visual Arts and Board Member of the Hastings Prescott Area Arts Council (HPAAC), Mecca Page was thrilled to discover well over 100 artists living in and around the Hastings/Prescott area. In 2012, on behalf of HPAAC, Mecca opened the Orange Dragon Art Gallery, located in Prescott, WI, and co-managed the gallery until June 2015.
During that time, it became clear that artists wanted more than just a place to exhibit, display and sell artwork. Not surprisingly, most artists have studios in their homes, so they do not need to rent space elsewhere. However, many artists are interested in teaching and/or taking classes, but don’t necessarily have large enough home studio spaces to offer such.
That discovery set the wheels in motion for BreakAwayArts - a community-based Center for Creativity. In October 2014, Mecca reached out to the local artists to ask if they would support such a project. The answer was a resounding Yes! Fifteen artists and business owners formed a “volunteer board” and met every other week for nearly a year to design the infrastructure of the business, using a fitness center, membership-based business model.
In March 2015, Mecca found the perfect location: a two story former bank building which provided an upper level space for an artisanal café/art gallery, as well as administrative offices and a lower studio level, ideally suited for an arts school. Renovation of the lower level included creating 5 workshop/studio spaces and was completed in time to open for Rivertown Days July 2015.
Nearly 30 artist instructors offer classes in a variety of mediums including painting, drawing, photography, digital art, fused & stained glass, mosaics, fiber arts, jewelry-making, handmade paper and paper mache’ clay, as well as pottery.
BreakAwayArts recently launched new programming for caregivers, elders and seniors, and routinely offers classes to adults with special needs. We have added a registered art therapist to our team, and continue to expand class offerings and daytime opportunities.
The opening of BreakAway Café in late October 2016 completes the original vision of a vital community organization that nurtures the body as well as the soul. Join us! Be part of our community, be creative, support the arts, make suggestions, and enjoy all the opportunities available here.
What We've Achieved
Purchased & refurbished an iconic 1950s bank building.
Created and supplied/equipped five art studios.
Launched an arts education program with 30+ instructors
Opened a beautiful, artistically delicious café.
Created ongoing opportunities for artists to exhibit.
Maintained an ongoing special events schedule, including readings, open mics, performances and holiday retail.
Formed vital collaborations with other arts and service organizations to support the greater community.