The AAV – Small Steps Lead to Big Steps
It began as an idea in the minds of a few people in the community. Then it progressed to a hotel conference room filled with local people interested in moving forward with the project.
First small steps, then larger steps and AuSable Artisan Village was born. It is a successful example of what can be done when the community comes together.
The next big step was leasing the former Ben Franklin store on Michigan Avenue. With over 5,000 square feet, the new AuSable Artisan Village Gallery became one of the largest galleries in Northern Michigan.
The AuSable Artisan Village now hosts a Gallery with nearly 70 artists from Michigan. Most of the artists are from here in the North Country. The Gallery provides a venue to show and sell fine art and crafts for established artists as well as emerging artists. The AAV has progressed for traditional art forms and has expanded into performing arts as well.
Through the years the AAV has provided classes to the young and the not so young. Our latest adult class series, “Art Uncorked!” combined the traditional art class with wine tasting. Those who have attended, loved the classes.
The AuSable Artisan Village as an organization has always tried to do new things to stretch our goal of bringing good art to the Grayling area. Now we have taken another giant step.
On August 20, 2015 the AuSable Artisan Village purchased the building (the old Ben Franklin) they occupy. This was made possible by a group of local investors who came together to provide the AAV with a mortgage loan. This latest move enables the AAV to seek grants for the gallery that were not available in the past because they did not own the building. This is a great step forward for the AAV.
The AuSable Artisan Village is an example of how the community can increase the viability of the downtown area through their support, patronage and investment. The best years for Grayling are ahead of us.