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Water Street Studios Endowment Fund

Established 2016


The Batavia Artists Association at Water Street Studios incorporated as a 501c3 nonprofit arts organization in the state of Illinois in 2009. Our mission is to make the arts accessible to the Fox Valley area and beyond. Our vision is to be a cultural hub in the Midwest. We provide art classes, exhibitions, artist studios, events, outreach and more. In our pursuit of inclusivity, we are proud to provide wheelchair accessibility and a gender-neutral bathroom so we can truly attract the best and welcome all.

Our Education program provides high-quality art classes for ages five to over sixty-five in a variety of mediums including drawing, printmaking, painting, ceramics, metal-working, jewelry-making, and more. We currently serve over 340 students from 35 surrounding towns through our paid programming including Aurora, DeKalb, Naperville, Joliet, Rockford, and more. Out of the over 340 students served 66% of our students live outside of Batavia. We support our artist community by employing over 30 art instructors from 10 surrounding towns including Downers Grove, West Chicago, Yorkville, and more.

Our Outreach program offers free art instruction for low-income families at Batavia Apartments as well as providing free arts programming to our surrounding community through over thirty strategic partnerships including local nonprofits, senior centers, public libraries, park districts, local businesses, and more. We provided 1,852 free art sessions over the last year through our eight free programming opportunities including Ripple Effect, open houses, Open Sketch, Batavia Library Art & Science Fair, and more.

We have 26 subsidized artist studios for emerging and professional artists to work in a highly creative and collaborative environment. We currently have 30 resident artists that live within a 25-mile radius of Batavia. Resident artists are given the opportunity to exhibit, sell artwork, teach classes and workshops, and participate in on-going events and fundraisers to further their own artistic businesses and passions.

We offer four, free monthly community events to make the arts accessible to our community including our Gallery Openings, Live Art Series, Waterline Writers, Open Sketch and unique rental space for private events such as weddings, business meetings, and parties. These events support our programming so we can continue to offer free events for families to create a sense of place in our community.

Water Street Studios is the only nonprofit community arts center in the area that provides all of these services to the Fox Valley area and beyond through high-quality arts programming. We are able to make the arts accessible to our community through high-quality programming because of the dedicated efforts of our staff, board members, donors, and volunteers.

A gift to the Water Street Studios Endowment Fund will help assure that this vibrant hub for the appreciation, creation, education and support of the arts, and our core community of artists, students and patrons will continue to grow, thrive and enrich the lives of everyone in our community.

Visit Water Street Studios’ Website
View Water Street Studios’ 2016 Annual Report

My name is Jennifer Leek and I’m the art teacher at Nicholson Elementary School in Montgomery. When I learned my budget was getting cut, I set out to find a business that would help with donations. Water Street Studio happily stepped up. They have been wonderful beyond words to myself and my students. Not only did they help with supplies for a project for the whole school, they also offered classes for my students, who would never be able to do something like that if not donated. 
Once a month with transportation paid for, I got to bring 12 students to Water Street Studio. Each month it was a new grade where they got to do an art project, meet the artists and see the gallery. This experience has been the most wonderful experience for my students. Watching their faces light up has been the highlight of my school year. The projects were so engaging and fun. The demonstrations by the artists were incredible. The whole experience has just blown us away! 
On our way back to school I hear conversations of “how amazing it was, how fun, did you see that awesome piece of work, that artist was so cool, the was the best field trip”.  If it wasn’t for Water Street Studios I could never have offered any of this to my students. Thank you so much for everything you have done for us.
Jen Whetsel Leek
Nicholson Elementary School

…you can always start small, even $25 can make a difference. Remember we can’t take our money with us. Even if it’s just your gift of time. Volunteer and get involved.

Cris Anderson

Cristina & Thomas S. Anderson Endowment Fund | Tom & Cris Anderson Colonial Advisory Fund

Thank you very much for supporting my college education for these four years. I will never be able to repay you for the opportunity that this scholarship has given to me.

Julia H.

[Renewing Scholarship Recipient] Graduate of Hinkley-Big Rock High School

There’s no question in my mind that the scholarship I received opened up possibilities.

Marianne Renner

Past Scholarship Recipient & Current Leadership Coach

A community foundation is a donor-driven organization that helps donors custom-design funds that reflect their charitable interests. Through the years, grants from these funds have made a significant impact on our local communities.

Sharon Stredde

President Emeritus

We chose the Community Foundation because of its reputation. It’s well known, established and we can trust them to do the job for us.

Dick Schindel

Richard and Susan Schindel Scholarship Funds

As a first-generation college student from a low-income family, I was worried about how I was going to pay for books and supplies. This scholarship will allow me to focus more on my studies instead of worrying about how to afford college. I am working to not only create opportunities for myself but to motivate future generations. Thank you so much for helping me along this journey!

Moises J.

Claude & Alice Allen Memorial Scholarship Recipient

Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley

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