The holiday season is upon us, a reminder to slow down and celebrate family, community and all that we are blessed with in our small corner of the world.
It isn’t a secret that the vibrancy and vitality of Durango is built upon a deep-rooted sense of community, where so many take it upon themselves to elevate others. We are fortunate to live in a place where so many individuals, businesses and organizations continually support the people, organizations and programs to make this place we call home so dynamic.
It has been said that there is at least one nonprofit for every 167 people in La Plata County. That number demonstrates the magnitude of energy, desire and community capital circulating here in Southwest Colorado, and emphasizes the commitment to invest where we live. Every day, almost every person in La Plata County is touched by a nonprofit organization in some way, from human services to education, civil rights and environmental protection, to life enrichment from the arts and sciences. In Durango, we are all very familiar with how nonprofits build vibrant and sustainable communities.
We also know that every dollar spent locally stretches even further because it gets recycled back into the community and multiplied. At the Durango Arts Center, the spirit of thanksgiving is directly linked to that “multiplier effect.” Donations made to DAC ripple through the community, inspiring creativity, self-expression and personal development in children, youth and adults, each of whom make a contribution to the cultural heritage here in La Plata County.
This December, DAC is once again raising the bar and challenging the community to “Give Where You Live” by helping us raise $10,000 to make art happen in our community with ColoradoGives Day on Tuesday, December 8. As part of year-end giving campaigns, ColoradoGives Day is a statewide philanthropic celebration, a day when individuals across the state take the opportunity to make an electronic donation to the charities of their choice. Join in support of community arts by making an electronic year-end gift to make art happen at DAC.
If you yearn for more this holiday season, join me re-envisioning what it is all about with these five easy steps:
1. Be of service. It’s better to give than to receive—and that applies to more than material goods. Take a little time to investigate how to get involved locally. You may find an organization or two that fits your interests and passions while giving back to your community.
2. Look local and give the gift of art. Let your purchases reflect your values. Make gifts more meaningful by making them or looking to local artists, artisans and craftsman at the Winter Solstice Artisans’ Market at DAC and other arts and crafts fairs hosted by various local churches and organizations.
3. Simplify. It’s hard to focus on the true meaning of the holidays when you’re rushing around. Instead consider creating holidays that instill more meaning into the season and encourage more sharing, laughter, creativity, and personal renewal.
4. Feed your soul. When you give a piece of yourself to someone or something, you have to replace it with something. We can only give when we have enough to give, energetically speaking. One way to restore and fuel yourself is to tune into your creative spirit and explore the healing benefits of art. Check out our Adult Art Workshop Series offering diverse classes in both the visual and performing arts.
5. Create a meaningful ritual. Rituals anchor holidays and give kids a sense of continuity and a tradition they can pass on for years to come. Teach your kids the true meaning of compassion and selflessness. One way to help your kids learn that the holiday season is about giving—not just getting—is to engage them in service projects. Find a vast list of local service opportunities by checking out the volunteer organization list in the Sunday Durango Herald.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Elsa Jagniecki is the marketing coordinator for the Durango Arts Center.