Annual Meeting 2022

Celebrating a Successful 2022 Fiscal Year

Written by Executive Director Bryant Whelan

Some of you may not know that May 31st signals the end of the ESAC fiscal year. For us, this annual milestone offers the opportunity to reflect on our year, celebrating our successes and thanking all of you who made those successes possible.

First, I would personally like to thank all of our hardworking staff, our teachers, our volunteers, Board Members, and our donors. Your tireless commitment to ESAC and your contributions of time, energy and funding ensure our programming success!


Here are some highlights from this year:


Our teaching Academy, led by Reanna Watson, generated $190,000 in tuition! Those funds represent over 900 student tuition payments, employment income for over 40 teachers, and account for nearly one third of our operating funds. With Impact 100 funding, we have completed the $90,000 in renovations to our Academy studios which included the new hands-free entry, new flooring, plumbing, and cabinetry.


Our exhibit program, led by Adrienne Clow, represented both solo and group exhibits throughout our galleries, generating $47,000 in sales. We are pleased to continue to offer a 70% sales commission to exhibiting artists-one of the most generous sales terms available to artists. Our 50th Annual Outdoor Art Show featured 90 artists and generated over $30,000 in booth fees.


This year we generated $114,000 in private contributions! Thank you to all who contributed to ESAC, and especially in our year-end double donation match campaign, which included a donation of $40,000 by our Angel Donor. White Linen Night was a huge success, generating a record-breaking $43,000 in net income to support ESAC programming. Huge thanks go to Jim and Pam Prestwood who donated an entire art collection for the art auctions! We also want to thank our many sponsors for supporting our programs and fundraising events with over $30,000 in sponsorships. Our members continue to support ESAC with membership fees, generating an additional $33,000 for our programs.


We are please to report a 100% success rate in our grant writing efforts this year, generating $95,000 in grant funding. This is an unprecedented amount for ESAC, due in part to the generous funds made available for arts organizations for COVID relief funding. These operating fund grants are rare, and will not likely be available in future years. Thank you especially to Alabama State Council on the Arts / National Endowment for the Arts for continuing to fund our programs, to the City of Fairhope for annual grant funding, and to the Mapp Family Foundation and Wind Creek Hospitality for supporting our Outreach Programming. 


  • Adrienne and Reanna created our new, more user-friendly website!
  • We spent $10,000 to patch our roof.
  • We have just installed an updated security system, and soon will replace our outdated phone system.
  • We re-roofed the historic Edith Harwell kiln with funds from a FEMA grant for Hurricane Sally damage.
  • We have created an investment fund to begin saving for unexpected costs like a new roof.
  • Two new staff joined the ESAC team. Kayla Dean serves as Administrative Specialist, and Charley Seibert serves as a Customer Service / Front Desk associate. Jessica DeVictor will now work remotely as our bookkeeper from her new home in Atlanta, GA!


This year we had a team of 27 Front desk volunteers, led by Margaret Neely.

Over 30 people volunteered for the Outdoor Art Show—logging over 200 volunteer hours! White Linen Night kept 43 volunteers busy, including 12 NEW volunteers, with well over 200 volunteer hours logged! Winky and Bill Dowdle, Chesley Allegri, Judy Oxford, Sharon Dearing, Pam Hunter, Rebecca Canale, Linda Lou Parsons, Sabe Fink and so many others helped make this event a huge success.


Carl Harper, President
Bill Munson, Vice President
Paige Dawson, Secretary
Lenise Ligon
Rick Kingrea
Lisette Normann
Jimmy Prestwood (donated all WLN artwork)
Nancy Rowe, donated wine,
Willa Lyle, Treasurer
Stephen Savage
Sabe Fink
Judy Oxford

We’ll miss our outgoing Board Members Willa Lyle, Stephen Savage, Sabe Fink and Judy Oxford while welcoming new Board Members, Carson Baker, Brittney Harvell, Sharon Dearing and Jennifer Jenkins.

Our budget for fiscal year 2023, which began June 1, is $594,000. We thank all of you for all of your support, and look forward to a prosperous and art-filled year!