In 2005, CGI Executive Consultant Helen Aikman and CGI Director Kathleen Galvin combined their business savvy and community commitment to open a non–profit art gallery in an old historic fire station in the rural Georgia town of Louisville (population 2,700).
Since then, The Fire House Gallery has hosted more than 75 professional art exhibitions and has organized a wide range of community programs, particularly for students of local schools, colleges and universities.
Shouldering a good bit of the financial burden for this extensive community work, Helen and Kathleen turned to CGI and received financial support through CGI’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program.
CGI, for example, has helped to fund the Gallery’s Art of Thinking program, which builds critical–thinking skills in elementary students through arts–related activities, as well as its Gallery Days program, which invites groups of students from area schools to view art exhibitions and participate in related activities.
“CGI has also provided support for our residential Fellowship program, which is designed to help maintain the Gallery by bringing in talented college graduates to handle artistic and administrative responsibilities,” shared Kathleen.
With help from organizations like CGI, Helen and Kathleen have been able to expand their community work beyond The Fire House Gallery. For example, they started Fire Team Productions to produce videos profiling artists and local community attractions and to provide design services for local non-profits and downtown Louisville businesses. In addition, they opened the Jefferson County Information Center to welcome and provide information to visitors.
“All of this has been a complete delight and a heck of a lot work,” said Kathleen. “We’re committed to this work because it’s been life-changing for the community and for us. And, we’re grateful to work for a company like CGI that has embraced community service as a core value and supports the volunteer efforts of its professionals not just in word, but in deed.”