The days may be getting shorter, but we’re busier than ever at Oakwood Arts. Building improvements are well under way — we’ve got brand-new windows and super-speedy Wi-Fi — and programming has taken off. In July, we ran our first workshop (digital photo collage) at the Robinson Theater and unveiled the results at our midsummer block party, complete with hot dogs, an ice cream truck, and a DJ. And a few weeks ago, we hosted a cyanotype workshop on our lawn. Kids from the neighborhood learned how to make sun prints using small pieces of fabric, then stretched out in the sun (for five minutes only, but even that was quite a feat!) to create a beautiful cloth mural, which is hanging in one of our windows for all to see. Our next outdoor workshop — camera obscura and pinhole cameras — is coming up at the end of this month. Meanwhile, we’ve been meeting with just about everyone in Richmond to discuss potential collaboration. We’re excited to be working with the VMFA, Peter Paul Development Center, and VisArts, and the feedback from others has been nothing but positive. We are grateful for the invaluable insight and encouragement we’ve received so far. And of course there’s fundraising…. We’re poring over grant proposals and expanding our fundraising efforts, but we need to keep the lights on and water running until those funds come through. If you’ve already donated, we can’t thank you enough. If you haven’t, this is your chance to help us open our doors — literally — to the community. The building commissioner has given us a list of repairs we must complete to get our certificate of occupancy for P35 (the church); to do so, we need to raise the remaining $10,000 of our original goal. Please help us make this happen so we can start offering a full range of programming, indoors and out. We have so many great things in store! Our 501(c)(3) paperwork has now been submitted to the IRS, so we should have tax-deductible status any day now. All donations are retroactive from the date we submitted our applications.