We have a lovely tradition at The Big Yellow House. Every year around mid December our core staff – Kris, Chiara, Jane, Sara and Jen – order takeout and exchange some handmade treasures. As we close out 2021, we leave you with Jane’s gift, which we felt was too good to keep to ourselves.

The Art Center on Main Street by Jane Foley

Adapted from A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clark Moore

‘Twas the month before Christmas at the Big Yellow House,
There were few signs of critters, neither squirrel or mouse;
The mini-splits were cranking as temperatures dropped,
And the back porch’s walls were finally lopped.

The children were coming to draw, sculpt, and paint,
With only a few of them needing restraint.
Jen had Arts for All and the littles to teach,
While Chiara taught teens, drop-in, and RCC.

And Kris in leg warmers and Jane in her wrap,
Were navigating grants like an old paper map,
When in the front room where the gallery sits
Were Sara and wallspace in a battle of wits.

She threw up some panels, put together some shelves,
And created a shop with the help of few elves.
“Come potters! Come painters! Come glass-blowers, too!
Buy earrings! Buy mittens! Buy gnomes tartan blue!”

People did shop, thanks to ads, flyers, and posts,
At the house, big and yellow, wherein live some ghosts.
Now the Big Yellow House has a name, and it goes ─
Follow Your Art Community Studios.

The brainchild of Kris, FYA was from the start,
A place for all ages to come and make art.
She gathered up people, for board and for staff,
And drafted a mission in one paragraph:

No matter one’s age, ability, gender or race,
All are welcome in this community space.
It opened for business in the fall of ‘19,
And closed six months later when the world quarantined.

Persistence and pivoting, donations and grants,
Along with flying by the seat of some pants,
Has helped FYA stay afloat and to grow,
And up is the direction it always will go.

Now the shop will soon shut; the session is done.
But before the next art show and class has begun,
It’s time for Kris, Jane, Chiara, Sara, and Jen
To put down the chalk, paintbrush, laptop, and pen,

And spend time with family, sing carols, and eat,
Before returning to six-forty-seven Main Street,
Where they work hard and long for the sake of the arts;
And where laughter and friendship reside in their hearts.

As the days begin to lengthen, we at FYACS wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year. Thank you for being part of our family.