December is a time of reflecting and celebrating the holidays, the coming of light and the year behind us as we move into another year.
At the Durango Arts Center, we have a tremendous amount to celebrate this year. In November, we became the proud beneficiary of silent-auction proceeds from the local pop-culture phenomenon, “Dinosaur Head,” which generated $5,000 for arts education. We’re very grateful to Studio & for hosting the auction and also to “Anonymous Bidder #1” for the support.
As of last week, we reached our 2014 goal of 1,000 members. This means 1,000 members are directly supporting the expansion and enhancement of arts and culture in Southwest Colorado through arts education, exhibits, performing arts and community events at DAC. One thousand members is great; however, this number is fewer than 2 percent of the La Plata County population and an even smaller fraction of the Four Corners population.
Why should people support the arts and become a member of DAC? I think Americans for the Arts summed it up nicely: “The arts are a fundamental component of a healthy society, based on virtues that touch the individual, community and the nation – benefits that persist even in difficult social and economic times: aesthetics, creativity, expression, identity, innovation, preservation, prosperity, skills and social capital.
We take these virtues seriously at DAC by:
Our arts-education program, serving 1,660 adults, teens and children.
Hosting the annual Durango Autumn Arts Festival, which features about 90 national artists and draws some 6,500 visitors to the Second Avenue event.
Collaborating with other community performing arts groups, Merely Players and Fort Lewis College to present Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons.”
Bringing the community about a dozen art shows every year and supporting regional artists with exhibit opportunities, such as the annual Members’ Exhibit, which featured 86 local and regional artists in 2014.
Bringing in special presenters such as notorious environmentalist Doug Peacock – the inspiration for Edward Abbey’s George Washington Hayduke.
Reaching more than 660 children – aged 5 through high school – and giving them the ability to express themselves with our youth theater program, DAC Applause!
Supporting our local creative economy by paying out $86,136 to teachers, performing artists and presenters, as well as $27,597 in commissions to artists for artwork sold in exhibits at DAC.
We at DAC truly believe that the arts require research, investment and ongoing support to thrive. Your contribution to DAC directly supports innovative programming and artistic development, and it ensures a year-round hub for creative expression serving the entire community. In 2015, we invite ALL arts enthusiasts to join us to take arts and culture to the next level by helping us reach our membership goal of 2,000.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Elsa Jagniecki is the marketing coordinator for the Durango Arts Center.