Center for the Arts benefit to be held at Vaudeville | PostIndependent.com

Center for the Arts benefit to be held at Vaudeville

Carla Jean Whitley
cj@postindependent.com

IF YOU GO

Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts Benefit

Friday, 6-10 p.m. The evening showcase will include live painting by Noemi and Kristof Kosmowski; dance; vaudeville skits; musical drama; comic relief by Becky Levin and Schulyer Halsey of Strongly Disagree; a performance by Nanama; a silent auction; and more.

Glenwood Vaudeville Revue, 915 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs | $40; $75 pair | 945-2414 | glenwoodarts.org

Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts has had a rough spring. Its executive director left in early April, police are investigating its finances and it nearly closed because of lack of money. The center remains in operation on a more limited basis, and bills are still outstanding—including back salary for its teachers.

Friends of the 35-year-old center won’t give up easily. And in this case, that means fighting back with art.

Tonight, the first of what is expected to be many fundraisers will take place at Glenwood Vaudeville Revue. The lineup is as diverse as any vaudeville show, with dancing, comedy, music, students speaking about the center and one of its founders sharing its history.

“When news broke, that was a shock,” said Terry Glasenapp. He was part of the center’s originating arts council dating back to 1982, and his grandchildren now attend classes there.

“We’re not willing to let this happen,” added Director of Art Terry Muldoon. She is one of the 20-some teachers who have gone unpaid in the wake of the center’s financial trouble.

It’s a grassroots effort that grew in part out of Facebook conversations regarding the center’s troubled status.

Glasenapp said, “Social media gave people a chance to connect and then move to action—“

“Quickly,” Muldoon added.

An event of this scale typically takes months to plan, the pair said. But supporters were motivated by the urgency of the center’s situation.

“What’s happening is a showcase of talent from the heart,” Muldoon said.

It’s about more than art, Muldoon is quick to note.

“What happens at the arts center is about community creativity—and creativity for everyone,” Muldoon said. “Creativity is proven to create better community members, better scientists, better moms, better dads. I’m a creativity coach.

“We need to keep these programs going and alive. Right now, because of our current situation, we need extra help from the community.”

Sustained awareness will be key, though. Glasenapp and Muldoon said they expect other fundraisers to pop up in the coming year, and hope public events such as the Summer of Music will keep the need on the public’s mind.

“It’s all about supporting the arts center, beginning grassroots stages of rebuilding,” she said. “This is the first step to helping the arts center rebuild and rejuvenate.”

Glasenapp noted key community figures who have supported the center through the years. Its roots were at Colorado Mountain College, where Martha Cochran and others provided space for early meetings and performances. (CMC has donated a class to the silent auction.) Early support also came from those who attended the first interest meeting on Feb. 12, 1988—including some people, such as dance program director Maurine Taufer—who remain involved to this day. Glenwood Vaudeville Revue’s John Goss donated the theater for the benefit. And although it withdrew funding after the police investigation began, the city’s support through the years has also been crucial.

“It’s not about the pretty little piece of art. It’s about self esteem, self development, community development,” Muldoon said. “People who have touched time with creative forces go on to do incredible things for their communities.”