Central School Project is a non-profit arts and cultural center with the three-fold mission of providing affordable creative space to working artists, preserving and adapting the historic Central School building as a cultural center, and fostering appreciation of the arts in the Bisbee community.
The Central School Project Board is composed of 20 artist members. The Board officers are Karen Schumacher, President; Bridget Shanahan, Vice-President; Lucy St. John, Treasurer; and Pam Blunt, Secretary. Executive Director: Laurie McKenna
Begun as a tenants' association of artists in 1982, CSP was incorporated in 1985 and received 501(c)(3) status from the IRS the following year. In 1994, the organization bid on and purchased the 1905 building from the local school district. In accordance with its mission, CSP has provided, besides much-needed preservation work on the historic Central School building, a broad array of arts programming, including art exhibits, performance art, poetry readings, plays, concerts, dance performances, film events, and children's workshops.
As a community service organization in a rural community that has become widely recognized as a center for the arts, CSP supports and collaborates with individuals and organizations to further cultural awareness in the community. CSP also makes its resources available to the community for a variety of programs and activities.
The Central School Project members bring a wide range of experience in a variety of artistic fields, including visual, spoken, dramatic, musical, cinematic, and architectural arts, among others. They have received various distinctions, for example, a CSP poet was the 2002 Tucson Poetry Festival winner, a CSP filmmaker was featured in the Whitney Biennial, a CSP sculptor was a Pittsburg Children's Museum Visiting Artist, and a CSP multimedia artist was artist-in-residence at Atelier Kramer Universitat Kunst Kassel. Moreover, many members are tenured university art educators, with one member having twice received the Andrew Mellon Faculty Enrichment Grant.
Julia Arriola, sculptor, ledger drawings, assemblage
Gretchen Baer, painter gretchenbaer.com
Pamela Blunt, printmaker, intermodal expressive arts therapist
Paul Bovee, painter bisbeesubwaygallery.com
Gail Campbell, sculptor
Jeff Hughart, visual artist jeffhughart.com
Manny Martinez, sculptor, painter
Laurie McKenna, interdisciplinary artist
Ruby Odell, painter, collage, illustration, two & three dimensional arts
Janet Reynolds, Multi-disciplinary artist
Pam Rodrigues, jewelry, paper-marbling, assemblage
Karen Schumacher, mixed media arts, writer
Jan Searle, visual artist
Kenneth Sikora visual artist
Richard "Rafiki" Shemanski, mixed media, photographer, multisensory artist
Jeffry Shriver, furniture maker, fine woodwork
Lucy St. John, miniatures, sculpture, fiber arts
Monte Surratt, painter sonorandogstudios.com
Rita Verri, art educator, performance artist, painter, choreographer.
Danielle Winter, painter, sculptor
Sam Woolcott, painter sampoegallery.com
When studios become available CSP has a call for applications. Interviews are then conducted by a member search committee. The call for applications is published here, via social media, and local newspapers.
Studio fees are based on square footage. Membership requires a commitment of time (in-kind service hours) to fulfill our mission of fostering arts in the Bisbee community and preserving our historic building.