Spring concerts fill funding gap for Glenwood Summer of Music
The Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts is hoping a series of spring concerts will help pay for their Summer of Music series after a new policy reduced annual support from Garfield County.
In 2015, the county commissioners committed $10,000 out of their discretionary fund for the program, but this year capped each organization at $5,000.
“I think we’re trying to send out a message that the funds are just tightening up. We’re going to start seeing less money in property tax from the oil and gas industry,” Commissioner Tom Jankovsky explained. “We felt that it was better to spread that out instead of having a higher limit.”
Last year, the county set aside $150,000 for such grants. This year, the total was reduced by $50,000 as the commissioners decided to help make up a funding shortfall for the Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE) shelter and bolster the sheriff’s animal control budget.
Jankovsky emphasized that a grant one year is not a guarantee of funding in the future.
“People start relying on our funding, which can become an issue,” he said.
It turns out, however, that only two organizations besides the Center for the Arts were over the new cap to begin with.
One, Crimestoppers, has not gone before the board to ask for funding so far in 2016. The other, Rifle’s Bookcliffs Council on Arts & Humanities, was approved for $10,000 last year and received the $5,000 maximum this year.
According to Bookcliffs development officer Marcey Hodshire, however, the need was greater in 2015 anyway.
“It was life saving last year. It was the first time we had used that grant, and so it was a tremendous help,” she said. “This year it was just a great addition.”
I felt like they were really supportive of us and gave us fair warning,” Hodshire added. “Every bit helps, but it’s not a life-threatening situation.”
Glenwood Center for the Arts Director Christina Brusig expressed a similar sentiment.
“We’re really grateful for the support we’ve received from the county,” she said. “We run this nonprofit like a business to make sure that we’re going to skate by.”
Still, it can be hard to organize events and programming without some idea of how much money will be coming in.
“In order to really live our mission and support the community we have to find funding,” Brusig said. “It makes us really have to go out and get support to replace it.”
Since the organization already raises the majority of the Summer of Music pricetag from the community, Brusig knew they’d have to do something special. In addition on asking for community feedback on the summer acts, the Center decided to use some past performers to support the future.
“We’re taking the opening acts from the summer of music and putting them in the headliner position,” Brusig noted. “Hopefully it generates some income to help fill the gaps. We’re really trying to spread the love of music.”
The trio of spring concerts will take place on three back-to-back Wednesdays at the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue, 915 Grand Ave. in Glenwood Springs. Frank Martin will kicks things off on March 9, the Glenwood Springs High School jazz band plays March 16, and Valle Musico wraps things up March 23.
Each concert starts at 6:30 and runs $10 a person with a cap of 165 attendees. Those who can’t make it can also donate directly to the cause at glenwoodarts.org/donate or by dropping by the Center at 601 E. Sixth St. in Glenwood.
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