The plans for the New Ute Events Center are to make it a multi-functional building. The vision for the center includes nationally touring groups (mostly music) a few times a year, local theater productions, local dance recitals, local music groups as often as they and the facility can accommodate each other.
Also, live streaming video of big sports events as often as the community shows interest in seeing them, wedding receptions, 50th anniversary parties, quinceaneras, after prom parties, fashion shows for sororities, 4-H, Girl Scouts, and/or local businesses, chamber of commerce tele-training or tele-conferences. The list goes on and keeps growing as people become more educated about possibilities for the facility.
Not everyone will be interested in every event, which is good, because we cannot all fit in the building at the same time. The number and variety of events and programs should appeal to all segments of the community at various times. Some, or possibly many, of the events may be fundraisers or programs for nonprofits in the community. The potential for keeping the center busy is really exciting, especially as it translates directly into foot traffic in the downtown core, which should positively impact local businesses.
The price tag may seem steep initially, but it provides the stage, flexible seating, lighting, sound equipment and digital technology for live streaming video that are required for a truly state-of-the-art, multi-functional building. The project has already garnered significant grant funds and private contributions, as well as support from the Colorado Sustainable Main Street Initiative. The more the center is used, the more the costs are shared and income generated, not just for the center but other businesses as well.
The summer concerts in Centennial Park and at the Bookcliffs Arts Council demonstrate what a positive impact local entertainment can have on our community, and our sense of community. Being able to share an evening's entertainment year-round without driving and spending money in another community is a benefit we can all enjoy. Contributing to a vibrant downtown and providing access for local talent locally are benefits worthy of our support.
Our participation is what will make the center self-sustaining and self-supporting.
Elizabeth Stuver is a board member of the New Ute Theatre Society. For information about the events center project, call (970) 414-0834 or go online to utetheater.com. Mailing address is P.O. Box 907, Rifle, CO 81650.