The Tamarack Foundation was organized in 2000, “to foster artisan entrepreneurship in West Virginia, while preserving its unique cultural history.” Since then, the Foundation has provided artists and makers with assistance in entrepreneurial training, marketing, capacity building and access to new markets.
We work to build the creative economy of West Virginia. We are a statewide organization that has services for all West Virginia artists to build businesses, access new buyers, and increase visibility. We believe that creative innovation is a vital piece of our economy moving forward, and our organization helps artists realize West Virginia as the best place to start and grow an artist business.
To build the creative economy of West Virginia by developing and supporting artist entrepreneurs
Tamarack Foundation for the Arts envisions a day when every artist in West Virginia has access to the tools they need to prosper and make meaningful, positive contributions to the well-being of West Virginia communities by utilizing the arts.
Since its founding in 2000, the Tamarack Foundation for the Arts has helped grow the creative economy of West Virginia by providing programs designed to equip artists and creative entrepreneurs with vital business skills needed to succeed across all arts disciplines and industries.
Our mission is to affirm that the title “artist” is a credible profession and that the arts are an important economic driver. We strongly believe creativity is a key element in crafting innovative approaches to diversifying our local economy.
Through our work at the Foundation, we foster collaboration and sharing of ideas, tools, tips, and best practices, resulting in a well-rounded understanding of what it takes to “make it” as a creative entrepreneur.
We acknowledge that artists are entrepreneurs who contribute greatly to the social and economic well-being of our communities, and, as such, require strategic training to grow in capacity and flourish in their creative endeavors.
The Foundation recognizes the arts as a crucial cornerstone in building communities where people of all kinds are inspired to live, work and play.
Through our efforts, we work to change a sometimes bleak national narrative by showcasing our talent, strengthening our Arts communities, increasing job creation, raising tax revenue and preserving our rich heritage of arts and crafts tradition.
To accelerate the belief that creative innovation is a vital piece of our economy, the Tamarack Foundation for the Arts provides the means to link artists, galleries, buyers, communities, and other partners committed to make our creative economy stronger.
WHO WE ARE
Tamarack Foundation for the Arts is an economic and community development organization for artists and by artists. Our work is about building stronger communities, neighborhoods, and economies, and we believe that artists are an important leverage point in that work. The Foundation’s mission is to cultivate vibrant communities by connecting artists with skills, information, and services they need to make a living and a life.
Our work is about creating communities and artists that have a reciprocal relationship, where artists are key contributors to community issues and are visible and valued for the impact they create. We do this work by creating simple, practical solutions and systems to support artists. Those programs support our goal to help create a local culture movement.
We seek to nurture a vibrant arts community, foster artistic excellence, and bring people together for powerful shared experiences that inspire a creative exchange of ideas.
The Tamarack Foundation for the Arts is in Phase One of its strategic plan, currently serving all visual artists in the state of West Virginia. The strategic growth plan for the organization expands to include performing and literary arts in Phase Two and agricultural makers in Phase Three.
The business of being an artist
Create Entrepreneurs – build your business
Create Markets – access new buyers
Create Community – find your network
Create Visibility – get the word out
Renée Margocee, Executive Director
Renée is responsible for the organization’s achievement of its mission and financial objectives. Renée provides leadership in the development of program, governance, communications, and financial plans and oversees their implementation with the Board of Directors and staff.
Renée is a graduate of Marshall University, studying English Literature and later studying ceramics at West Virginia University. She received additional arts education at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Craft in Tennessee and the Haystack School of Craft in Deer Isle, Maine. After completing her schooling, she established her first ceramics studio in Elkins, West Virginia and later established Clay Place in 1996, Charleston’s first open clay studio located at Taylor Books.
A native of the southern coalfields of West Virginia, Renée’s diverse work background includes museum restoration, long-term engagements as a teaching artist in public schools and working in community pottery in Helvetia, West Virginia. She was among the first artisans to make work for Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia. Renée has held multiple leadership positions in the arts industry including Director of the Arts at the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, as well as serving as a member of the Board of Directors at the Tamarack Foundation for the Arts, an ex-officio member of the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, a member the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and as a State Arts Agency Representative for the National Endowment for the Arts.
Amy Stout, Office Manager
Amy administrates the operations of the foundation business office.
Amy is a West Virginia native and graduated from Marshall University. She is currently in her final year of WVU’s Nonprofit Management Program and has completed WVSU EDC’s Lean Start Up 60x – Small Business Training. Amy is a juried Tamarack fine artist and is a member of Gallery Eleven in Charleston (West Virginia’s longest running artist cooperative).
Charles “Buddy” Butler, Board President, Senior Vice President, Stonewall Marketing (Williamstown)
Ashley Pack, Esq., Board Vice President, Attorney, Dinsmore (Hurricane)
Debby Sizemore, Board Treasurer, Senior Vice President – Commercial Banking, Premier Bank (Oak Hill)
Morgan Richards Beals, Owner/Artist, Morgan Rhea (South Charleston)
Nikki Bowman, Owner, New South Media (Morgantown)
Michael Doig, Professor/Artist, Davis & Elkins (Elkins)
Susan Feller, Artist, ArtWools Studio (Augusta)
Pam Harvit, The Harvit Group (Charleston)
Kristina Joyce, Program Administrator, Southern West Virginia Community & Technical College (Charleston)
Charlotte Karges, Owner, Etc. Gallery (Wheeling)
Amanda Lester, Artist/Artisan Services Coordinator, Tamarack: The Best of WV (Beckley)
Michael Mills, Program Chair, Principal, Mills Group (Morgantown)
Franki Parsons, Esq., Policy/Data Chair, Attorney, Dinsmore (Charleston)
Cathy Smith, Owner/Artist, Unique Silks (Daniels)