The Belmond Area Arts Council (BAAC) was formed in 1976 by a group of concerned residents to promote, encourage, and increase the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the arts, including art, music, dance, theater, crafts, and humanities; to coordinate and provide services to the arts to foster their growth and practice; and to carry out all other purposes necessary to the above.
The purpose of the museum, which was named the Jenison-Meacham Memorial Art Center and Museum in honor of Cloe Jenison’s parents and their ancestors. She gifted the 120-acre farm the the BAAC in 1981 for the purpose of building the museum to display the art work and collection of Cloe’s, along with the works of other regional artist. The museum was built in 1984, with final completion in years following, since not enough funds were available to finish the project. The building was designed to fit into a motif of a rural setting, hence the gambrel roof. It is set on the south side of a small hill.
The main floor has 114 linear feet of display space for traveling art exhibits, a kitchen, and a separate exhibit space for Cloe’s collection. The second floor is used to display the permanent collection of the BAACs. Traveling exhibits are arranged from May through October.