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Rockford art gallery finds a new purpose in the community

317 Art Collaborative - https://www.facebook.com/317ArtCollaborative/photos/gm.727602458962886/1384627819021206

A Rockford art gallery that opened in 2019 has changed its direction.

317 Art Collective is now 317 Art Collaborative. Laura Gomel is the executive director of the space. She said it was time to change the establishment to a nonprofit entity.

“And I was kind of resisting it. Because that's got its own, you know, whole stuff to deal with,” she explained. “But it just became apparent to me that, in order to continue to do the things that we want to do, it was going to, we're going to have to be able to apply for more grants, stuff like that to make it happen.”

Gomel said she had to change the name because the collective was a private, limited liability company, or LLC.

“It's a lot harder to turn an LLC into a nonprofit than have a new entity,” Gomel said.

She said this change allows the organization to do more things for the community and being a collaborative is more fitting because it pulls in those outside of the organization.

“We are collaborating, for example, with the Rockford Public School system to do an after-school program for free,” Gomel said, “things like that. So, I mean, I feel like it's more accurate, you know, of description.”

The gallery will host a fundraiser from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday March 18. A private viewing and silent auction will take place. Donations can be made at 317art.org.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.
Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.