Hi, my name is Sandy Hicks and I am the Treasurer of St Louis Park Friends of the Arts aka FOTA. I joined the organization in 2010 and am thrilled to be part of an organization that supports and connects art and artists with the community.
I am life-long resident of our dear city and a patron of and supporter of the arts. I studied jazz dance for 15 years at Zenon Dance Company, co-founded an online bookstore for local independent authors and publishers which served as a model for other local book fulfillment houses, and mentored the publication of Lit Kids: Mama Bird and the Electric Rabbit, a collection of work written by students in the 2007 Literary Arts program at Perpich Center for Arts Education.
Back in the early 90’s, when FOTA was a grass roots movement of parents trying keep art activities a vital part of St Louis Park schools a friend and neighbor of mine was part of that initial group of founders. I was proud of her at the time and thankful for the group’s efforts, trusting they would succeed. Little did I know at the time, that FOTA would become an official arts organization of the city and I would eventually serve as its Treasurer!
FOTA has developed beautifully over the past 20 years and so has the programming. Our bi-annual Our Town program has introduced the community to several arts forms: the art of photography in 2008; poetry and spoken word in 201; drumming and percussion in 2012. We are currently planning for the 4th Our Town program: “Nature & Art”, scheduled to take place during May – September 2014. Some of the planned programming will be a juried art show, an open art exhibit sketching workshops. These activities will be designed to reach people in all corners of our fair city to bring artists and the community together through nature. AND ALL of this is FREE!
FOTA’s connection with the community is another thing I love about this. As we all know, St Louis Park is a very diverse community, with a vibrant mix of young and old, life-long residents and new incomers, families and singles, and a great range of economic and racial diversity. This diversity is one of the reasons my husband and I decided to stay and raise our kids in the Park and are proud of FOTA’s mission to embrace the cities diversity as well and make arts accessible to ALL groups. FOTA does this by bringing programs to the people and by helping people have access to the arts.
I welcome you all to participate in our various programs (see our calendar) and join us in our mission to enhance the arts in St Louis Park and become a member!