Helping Hamiltonians

Hadley Rahrig

“It’s really important to find something that makes sense. In this you find the energy and momentum to accomplish what needs to get done,” Kathy Herold, director of the Hamilton Center for the Arts, said.

The Hamilton Center for the Arts officially opened five years ago at 10 Broad Street under Herold’s initiative after previously teaching children art out of her home. The center’s mission statement summarizes the principle under which she created the center.

“The Hamilton Center for the Arts is dedicated to providing to all our community (children, teens and adults) art enrichment through classes, programs, performances and exhibits.  Through the expression of diverse thoughts, ideas and beliefs, we may grow to better understand ourselves and each other.”

The open yet homey layout of the Arts Center establishes this community where children can feel safe to express themselves. Herold elaborates that the purpose of center was to offer children more affordable options for dance and multi-art lessons.

Kathy Herold initially gained a desire to help children through the arts when she worked for the Child Abuse Hotline in San Francisco. It was there that she realized she wanted to create a safe place for children in Hamilton Center for the Arts.

“Above all it’s a risk free place where everyone is respected and treated fairly. That’s what I emphasize above anything,” she says.

Now with the center offering classes and camps in dance, painting, 3D art and media, Herold’s mission has succeeded in bringing together children, community members, and Colgate students alike. Colgate students now volunteer to teach dance classes and some have offered to teach various camps that the center offers. Although she used to teach every art class that the center offered, one of Herold’s largest roles now has been to network within the community, connecting with those who can teach lessons and various individuals who help to collaborate events.

Hamilton Center for the Arts accomplishes community and opportunity for Hamilton’s children without any form of funding. Despite this challenge, Kathy Herold finds tremendous fulfillment.

“What you get back from doing it is unlike anything else,”Herold said, comparing her work to volunteering service.