HVCA’s Organizational History
Huron Valley Council for the Arts (HVCA) was founded in 1999 by a group of local community leaders interested in the arts. From the outset, HVCA has been dedicated to the belief that community life is enriched and enhanced by the arts in its many forms. In an effort to define a reasonable scope for its constituency, the HVCA founders decided to align its organization with the Huron Valley School district, which encompassed the townships of Commerce, Highland, Milford and White Lake, as well as the Village of Milford.
HVCA’s early years were characterized by informally meeting wherever a meeting space could be found. Then in 2002 a fortuitous event occurred when the Highland Township Library completed its new library building. The structure it previously occupied became available, and HVCA among others submitted a proposal for that building’s use. In the end Highland Township retained ownership of the former library building, and the township agreed to lease 49% of the space to HVCA.
The building HVCA moved into, and which it still occupies, is a historically significant part of Highland’s heritage. Located at 205 W. Livingston Road, the structure was built in 1886 as the Highland Methodist Episcopal Church.
In 1980 the structure was acquired by Highland Township and the entire building was renovated for use as the public library. Throughout its history the structure has been maintained in good repair, albeit with two additions over the years. In 1981 the structure earned a place in both the Michigan and National Registers of Historic Places. The building was given the name Highland Station House.
HVCA’s space in Highland Station House includes the original church portion, located at the front of the building. This section, dubbed Steeple Hall, serves as our exhibition gallery and also our performance space. Directly back of that section is the area occupied by The Art Shop, HVCA’s artist cooperative, where participating artists may display any of their works which are for sale.
Highland Station House also serves as venue for other community activities, such as outdoor concerts sponsored by Highland Township
Highland Station House has become established as HVCA’s arts center, and is the venue for many of our performances, events and activities. In 2017 a Pure Michigan destination sign was installed on nearby M-59, directing travelers to our center. In 2018 Highland Township invested money for renovations to the Highland Station House interior, and we now welcome our visitors with new carpeting, fresh paint and improved lighting.
The mission of the HVCA is to enhance the cultural life of the region through programs that enrich and entertain, through arts education and through the promotion of artists.
HVCA’s vision is to be the preeminent arts and cultural center in southeast Michigan, a center which improves and supports all aspects of the artistic life experience for all individuals.
HVCA’s core values are guidelines that describe how we as an organization expect HVCA staff members and volunteers to conduct themselves
Integrity We adhere to the highest levels of integrity, honesty, and ethical behavior.
Leadership We look to our board of directors to be knowledgeable of HVCA operations, to demonstrate effective leadership and to employ good governance practices. We encourage staff initiative and leadership, and we strive to be a model nonprofit organization.
Leadership, Inspiration and Positive Change We maintain the authority to lead, the creativity to inspire, and the will to foster positive social change through the arts.
Collaboration We practice teamwork internally and work together with external partners in an open, cooperative and respectful manner to further foster and encourage the arts in all forms and mediums for all audiences.
Accountability We hold ourselves responsible for operating HVCA as a business, being fiscally responsible, adhering to ethical principles and maintaining professionalism in all endeavors.
Diversity We exist to serve the general and artistic community. We respect and welcome visitors, artists, volunteers, staff, sponsors and business and municipal partners of every religion, race and gender in the spirit of inclusiveness, while encouraging diversity of thought.
Volunteerism We maximize the participation of professional and highly competent volunteers to achieve our mission.
Value We provide effective, affordable arts programming that enriches our community.