The Piedmont Arts Association in Martinsville, Virginia, is getting ready for a large expansion through its $1 million Growth and Restoration Campaign.

Piedmont Arts serves some 20,000 people annually throughout Martinsville-Henry County and the surrounding community. And all its programs in visual and performing arts as well as arts education are free in this mostly rural area.

Through decades of heavy use, the museum, built in the early 1900s, is in need of repairs, and so far, $850,000 has been raised toward renovations to the buildings and grounds, strengthening the museum's endowment fund, and expanding event space. 

Executive Director Heidi Pinkston says equipping the galleries with state-of-the-art lighting and climate control systems is crucial to maintaining the association's accreditation with the American Alliance of Museums.

“We must have high standards to be able to keep the quality of the museum up to date with the temperature, and the humidity,” says Pinkston. “Out of the 33,000 museums in our country, there are maybe 1,070 that are fully accredited with the American Alliance of Museums.”

Pinkston says solar panels will be installed to reduce the museum's carbon footprint and off-set energy costs. The annual open regional exhibit Expressions featuring the recent work of artists within a 100-mile radius of Martinsville opens this Friday.



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