T’is the season of peace, love, joy, and celebrations! I wish you and your families all the best of what the season brings!

As you know, this year, 2024, marks an important milestone in our organization’s history – 50 years of OCAG residing at 22 Chestnut Avenue, a Victorian gem of the Gilded Age!

A golden celebration is in order and our 50th Anniversary Planning Committee has had our first kickoff meeting. We have many exciting events planned throughout 2024 in honor of our beautiful building. Some of the events we have scheduled are a Golden Easter Egg Hunt, a Victorian High Tea, a Solid Gold 70s Themed Dance Party, and a Year End Raffle and Cocktail Party, along with other special edition arts, cultural, and fundraising events. So, if you like to party, please watch your inbox for calls for volunteers in the new year as we will only be able to hold those events that will have ample volunteer support.

As we look to the future of our Guild, I would like to turn your attention to the aforementioned homophone of the word, spelled “gild.” It means “to cover a surface with a thin layer of gold or a substance that looks like gold.” It is a term that refers to beautifying an object. For us, the stewards of Edith Grace’s gift that is 22 Chestnut Avenue, it evokes thoughts of the impending investment and effort that will be required to save the building we love. Our Victorian lady has pretty good bones but needs quite a substantial gilding of her own, a major facelift of sorts, the extent of which will be explained during a membership meeting after the first of the new year. At this meeting, the architect/engineering firm will present the findings and the cost/budget estimate and will be available to answer any questions our members and stakeholders may have. Exact date and time to be determined, which will be provided via email to all of our members.

As President, I am looking forward to continuing to help create a brighter future for the Guild. A new year presents the opportunity for new beginnings, and we have a head start with a new team of volunteers to help review and strengthen our OCAG’s 5-year Strategic Plan.

As an eternal optimist in the season of believing, I believe in our mission and our vision to secure the Guild as the premier center for arts, art education, and cultural experiences in Ocean County and beyond! Will you join me? Email me at cesarettikimberly@gmail.com to answer the call! It will take more than a village!

Wishing You All the Best in the New Year!

Kim Cesaretti
2023/24 President of OCAG
Live Your Best Art Life!