In addition to his work as a lawyer and property developer, Lloyd M. Haines has a long history of interest and support for the visual arts in Ashland. Through a partnership with Ashland Art Center, Haines and a couple of well-capitalized friends have been changing the lives of regional artists through his “Haines and Friends” Grant. I caught up with him to discuss the project. 

JG: What led to the inception of "Haines and Friends"?

LMH: It was a discussion with David Landry, another foundation member, about the difficulty artists face with supporting themselves and being creative as well. I thought it would be helpful if grants were made available so artists could have some flexibility in their lives and not have to work three jobs in order to create (art). I discussed the concept with Denise Baxter, then director of the Ashland Arts Center, and she thought it was a terrific idea. And, she agreed to have the Arts Center implement the program. So, in a very short time, the program became a reality. It's been running since three years ago, now.

Two other like-minded people joined as contributors to the fund. As such, we present grants of $60,000 per year. We call the program "Haines and Friends" so others may contribute to help support the local artist community. Even small, tax-deductible contributions, made to the Ashland Art Center, for the benefit of this program, are helpful.

JG: What have been some of your most satisfying projects so far?

LMH: We have supported artist and teachers with supplies and equipment to further their creative spirit. We provided funds last year to Nisha Burton to purchase a camera which she used to do a documentary about the mural created on Guanajuato Way. That film is in this year's Ashland film festival. Also, we have funded several works of art, including works by Jeremy Criswell and Karen Rycheck, some of which have already been placed in the Ashland watershed. And, we helped Denise Kester print the book about her artistic process. Of course, there are many more exciting projects that could be listed as well.

JG: How do your grantees go about using their grants?

LMH: They buy equipment, buy supplies, enroll in classes, travel to create art, teach in schools, upgrade their studios and provide service learning in community forums. There is a wide range of activities that we support.

JG: What do you see as your vision for the future when it comes to arts philanthropy?

LMH: Doing as much as I/we can do to support the creative spirit of people. Art, as a creative and spiritual endeavor, needs financial and energetic support from all members of the community.

— Ashland resident Jeffrey Gillespie is a Daily Tidings columnist, arts reviewer and freelance writer. Email him at gillespie.jeffrey@gmail.com.