Local artwork on display at fundraiser

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COLUMBIA – A group of local artists hosted a fundraiser Friday night, giving people people the chance to view works from young and emerging artists.

Columbia-based non-profit Resident Arts provides local young and emerging artists with professional development and mentoring programs. They work with both high school and college students to provide them with skills for the future.

"The arts foster creativity and critical thinking which are two primary job skills that most employers are looking for, and so practicing arts helps you develop those skills, and then, as you grow into an adult and look for jobs, it's applicable to multiple jobs, not just the arts," Residents Arts Director Madeleine Lemieux said.

Resident Arts programs includes a professional development workshop and artist residency programs.

"They provide exposure for artists who typical don't get exposure," said artist Jessie Donovan, who had multiple works on display at the event.

President Donald Trump's federal budget proposal would eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts' (NEA) $148 million budget. The Missouri Arts Council, which distributes money to the Office of Cultural Affairs, receives a portion of its funding from the NEA. Resident Arts receives some of its funding from the Office of Cultural Affairs and stands to possibly lose funding if Trump's budget gets passed.

"Taking that money away means that we aren't going to get as much of those grants. Those grants aren't going to be available to us on the local level, which means that I'm going to have to find ways to supplement that fund or cut programming," Lemieux said.

Resident Arts plans on hosting another event in the fall.