Letter: Theater squeeze
September 9, 2017
In respect of Defiance Community Players, I resign as a 30-year board member in order to voice my concerns free from restrictions.
Who decided that profitability for taxpayer-funded facilities rental was more important than community theater? When did this community's values change? Whose values do the school board members represent? The performing arts community in Glenwood Springs struggled for space since I moved here in 1981. Defiance Community Players, a nonprofit group whose mission is to provide a quality theater experience for cast, crew and community and to provide scholarships to students in our valley, cannot provide our mission due to the cost.
We had 45 years in this community, the school board has made it financially impossible for us and other nonprofits to afford the theater. Your tax dollars aren't enough for RE-1, they decided profits versus supporting performing arts is the right choice. We were advised two years ago our grandfathered contract was void. A school administrator advised "Definace needs to fundraise," Defiance needs to rehearse somewhere else."
Thank you, Glenwood Springs and the valley for supporting our annual fundraiser. Due to inflation, our budgets are over $20,000 now. We do pay a token to some of the production staff, but most are unpaid unsung heroes. Our cost now for a six-week minimum could be $6,000. that translates into our minimum for our Ivy Adler Scholarship fund. We have given with your attendance and support over 90 scholarships. Does the high school give performing arts scholarships? No.
"The arts are an essential element of education, just like reading, writing, and arithmetic … music, dance, painting and theater are the keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment." — William Bennett, former U.S. secretary of education.
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Past president, Defiance Community Players