ACA Future Fund logoUPDATED, April 16: Linda Shoemaker, executive director of Arlington Center for the Arts, sang no blues on Saturday, April 15.

Yes, BluesApocalypse 3.0 was underway, and plenty of others were letting loose with vocal and instrumental blues. "I got a phone call at 9:30 this morning," she told the sold-out crowd. "An anonymous donor has offered a challenge grant of $25,000."

Applause and cheers followed. The donor will contribute that amount to the ACA's Future Fund if the public matches it by June 1.

The goal of the fund, now up to $1 million, is to pay for the center's new home in the Senior Center and related costs. The ACA must vacate its home of 27 years by June 30 so the former Gibbs School can be renovated to a new sixth grade by September 2018.

Immediate $500 offer

Immediately after Shoemaker's announcement, her partner, blues singer Louise Grasmere, said she is contributing $500 to the challenge grant.

By 9 p.m., Shoemaker said that a large jar on the stage had received about $8,000 in pledges toward the challenge. More cheers.

The total amount pledged during BluesApocalypse 3.0, as well as the current status of the Future Fund will be reported.

In response to a question from YourArlington April 15, Shoemaker said $600,000 is needed for renovation of two floors at the Senior Center and $400,000 more for costs related to the move. That includes storage and paying for temporary office space. ACA employees expect to occupy a variety of spaces around town between July and next February. The center's summer program will be at Arlington High School.

In the last public reporting about the ACA fund, Shoemaker told the Redevelopment Board last December that the effort had raised more than $150,000 in cash and pledges. That was $20,000 beyond the benchmark set to be raised by Jan. 31 under an agreement with the town.

She also told the board Dec. 19 that ACA was applying for a Cultural Facilities Fund Grant from the state Arts Council in January, seeking $300,000 in matching funds to help pay for renovations.

For the fund-raising event at Town Hall on Jan. 28, Shoemaker had hoped to raise $20,000.

Apart from the numbers enlivening the third BluesApocalypse, the evening helped say goodbye to the ACA's theater and facilities with cold beer and smokin' hot blues. The performers were:

Bluesacolypse 2.0BluesApocalypse musicians from 2015.

Louise Grasmere with Meeting Across the Water: The latter is a roots, blues and gospel quartet featuring strong lead vocals, tight harmonies with piano, guitars, percussion, mandolin and mandocello accompaniment. Co-lead singers Grasmere and Fred Griffeth have spent years fronting various bands in the Boston roots and blues scene. Keyboardist Jonathan Singleton plays with several local blues and jazz bands, and is an award-winning gospel choir arranger and conductor. 

Bees Deluxe: play 21st-century acid-blues, digging deep into the vaults of blues/jazz antiquity. The result is an effortless take no-prisoners-approach that winningly captures the audience's hearts. Catch Arlington Town Meeting member Carol Band on keys.

Shikiboo & Butane Blue Band: A Boston native, Shikiboo has developed her own style of raw and soulful rock music, inspired by some of the greats -- including Aretha Franklin and Koko Taylor. She and her band, Butane Blue, have taken music venues in Boston and New York by storm and promise to bring the heat in April.

The Tokyo Tramps: Hailing from the Land of Rising Sun (Japan), this is a group of American roots music fanatics. Taking inspiration from such rock legends as Bruce Springsteen, this electrifying quartet promises to rock the stage with their unique take on blues and rock 'n roll.

Shikiboo & Butane Blue Band: A Boston native, Shikiboo has developed her own style of raw and soulful rock music, inspired by some of the greats -- including Aretha Franklin and Koko Taylor. She and her band, Butane Blue, have taken music venues in Boston and New York by storm and promise to bring the heat in April.

The King Street Band: is a Boston-based eight-piece band, bringing audiences sunny originals as well as hair-raising takes on some of your favorite rock ditties, including hits from Van Morrison, Eric Clapton and Shirley Bassey.


Dec. 23, 2016: Arts-center fund push is ahead of schedule, with more to raise

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This announcement was published Thursday, March 2, 2017, and updated April 16, to report fund-raising.