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our mission

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.

our members

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. 


Current Members:

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

membership queries

Membership Information

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.