At the end of the January, the Voorhees Arts Council will temporarily close its doors in the Voorhees Town Center due to a lack of funding. According to Executive Director Marianne Leone, the hope is that the VAC will be able to reopen and resume its programs later this year, potentially in the spring, once more funds have been secured.
“At this time, we foresee being closed for potentially February and March as we await word on some of our funding opportunities,” Leone said.
The nonprofit is awaiting word on six grants it has applied for in recent weeks that would help sustain current operations and programs. The VAC faced financial hardship during much of the pandemic, due to the temporary closure of the Voorhees Town Center early last year and a shortage of grants and financial opportunities. Leone said the arts program has often survived with only a month or two of financial support and that it wants to secure funding for the remainder of the calendar year before reopening.
“We will not reopen until we have funds secured through the rest of the year,” Leone insisted. “We can’t just keep going a month or two at a time; we need more of a commitment before we can reopen again. So the closure is due to lack of committed funds for 2021.”
According to Leone, the Voorhees Arts Council has been in communication with the township and is currently in discussions to receive support from Voorhees Township, but nothing is official yet.
Voorhees Mayor Michael Mignogna responded to comment from The Sun regarding the VAC’s temporary closure.
“The Voorhees Arts Council has been passionate in keeping the arts alive in Voorhees,” he noted. “I attended most of their events and enjoyed participating in their recent Virtual Museum. The township committee plans to include funds in our 2021 budget, combined with funds from our Voorhees Citizens Event Foundation, to see that the VAC is up and running as soon as possible.
“They do a great job and we appreciate their tireless efforts.”
The VAC is still running its GoFundMe campaign at https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/voorhees-arts-council. The effort helps support the nonprofit and would help fund its programs for the entire year.
According to Leone, the Voorhees Arts Council needs approximately $20,000 to be operational again.