Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association
Bellefonte, Pennsylvania
Minutes of Past Meetings


BHCA Home | Meetings Page

This memorandum from Corene Johnson to BHCA, and the following sheet financial status, concern the formative stages of the Gallery at The Gamble Mill, at a time when directions were unclear and the restaurant did not exist. --DHE


Date: 10 July, 1984

To: Gamble Mill Gallery Committee, BHCA

From: Corene Johnson, Arts Coordinator

I would like to present the following thoughts and premises for consideration as the BHCA takes on the entirely new project of running a community gallery. They should probably be included on the agenda of a committee meeting before any scheduling is done for the gallery.


1) We presently have, through the PCA grant, a known income for the gallery of $1,200, which is slightly more than one third of the committee's estimated minimum budget for the coming year (the year which will determine whether or not the gallery is a flash in the pan or a permanent community resource).

2) Of the $1,200 now in hand, $600 is already committed for rent, $300 for heat. This leaves us with $300 with which to operate a gallery for a year.


3) Galleries devoted exclusively to exhibits of the visual arts are not exactly famous for their income potential. It is not usual to charge admission to a gallery for any but the most stellar exhibits, so visual arts galleries must depend upon commissions from sales of art for their incomes. The experiences of other galleries in this area suggests to me that we could not expect much profit from such an arrangement. In fact, publicity and mechanical coats (wire, nails, etc.) could easily exceed income from any single visual arts exhibit.


4) People tend to patronize a place as much out of habit as any other motivation. Therefore, we must try to develop a patronage which frequents the gallery because it has been favorably impressed with previous visits there.


5) We have access to the gallery for only 15 weeks during the coming year. In order to make it accessible enough for people to develop the habit of coming to the gallery, we must plan a year's schedule far in advance, so that, like the Artists' Series schedule, people can post it on their bulletin boards and plan their other activities around ours


6) In order to make them want to get in the habit or coming to the gallery, we must Impress the sox off of them during their first one or two visits.


7) I believe that to make money and to impress patrons sufficiently so that they will remain patrons (and bring their friends!) we should focus on multimedia events which combine visual performing arts, and several of which extend through two weekends to make use of free publicity via word-of-mouth and newspaper reviews. The two week duration would also allow more time for non-paying visitors who wish to simply see the visual arts exhibit. Even with an art exhibit in place, I figure seating for about two dozen people could comfortably be arranged in the gallery. If we schedule, something like Friday and Saturday evening, and Sunday afternoon performances, and charge an admission fee of $3.00 per person, with refreshments available to be purchased (an additional source of revenue) and munched during or after performances, we could allow ourselves to spend $100-$125 per show, and still bring in enough money to come out ahead.

8) Some shows, which we feel are worthwhile but will have limited audience appeal, should probably be limited to one week.


9) Because the gallery is hard to heat, and therefore expensive to heat, I think we should keep most of our events scheduled during the spring and fall. Because there are numerous artistic and recreational opportunities in this area during summer, I think our summer offerings should be nearly as limited as our winter ones.


10) I think our first events should be real wing-dings, to make a reputation for the gallery as a place of excellence (and maybe unusualness) in the arts and entertainment, and that the first one should serve as a very chi-chi fund raiser.


11) A fund raiser by mail should probably be scheduled for the beginning of 1985 (end of 1984?) so that, when we see whether or not there will be more PCA funds available we will know whether we shall be able to afford to sign a full time lease next year.


18 October, 1984



Grant from Bellefonte Borough (June 1984)


Ticket Sales - Fashion Show (September 1984)


Memberships - 15 (September & October, 1984)


Total income to date





Rent (for 15 weeks, 1984-85, paid 1 July, 1964)            


Heat (due 1 October, 1984)


Printing (letterhead, also to be used as posters) printing on letterhead of fall schedules, membership drive letter & poster for fashion show, envelopes                              


Bulk mailing fee - membership drive letters/fall schedule


Fashion show & lecture (approximate) expenses


Needlework workshop expenses (show cancelled because of insufficient registration)


Estimated expenditures to date



Approximate cash on hand                                                         







Estimated expenditures Synergy                $ 80.00

Estimated revenues Synergy                    $105.00


Estimated expenditures - jazz weekend           $100.00

Estimated revenues - jazz weekend               $127.50


Estimated expenses - Birth & Rebirth            $ 80.00

Estimated revenues - Birth R Rebirth            $105.00


* Figures do not reflect cost of, or revenue from, refreshments, which will be sold at remaining shows, rather than included in ticket price as for fashion show.



                              Corene Johnston