Arts center begins to plan its next steps | PostIndependent.com

Arts center begins to plan its next steps

Many details remain to be determined, but Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts has a new focus.

Following an Oct. 25 membership meeting, acting board president Judy O'Donnell said the organization aims to continue arts education through special events. It will seek to complement efforts by the city's newly formed, yet-to-be-appointed arts and culture board.

"Refresh, reboot and reroot," O'Donnell said of the organization's new philosophy. "In other words, we're going back to our roots. It will be more event specific and just [promote] arts awareness to the community."

The center's direction became unclear after it announced debt topping $68,000 in the spring after the board parted ways with director Christina Brusig. Brusig, 31, was issued a summons Friday on a charge of Class 1 misdemeanor theft. She is scheduled to appear in Garfield County Court on Dec. 4 on the charge, which is defined as theft of between $750 and $2,000.

After the art center fell into disarray and debt in April, the city withdrew its $50,000 annual support, which largely covered the director's salary, and asked the center to vacate its leased space in the old electric building by Dec. 31.

O'Donnell said that the space was being vacated last week in an effort to halt additional expenditures.

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The center will no longer offer classes, she said, but its membership recognizes a desire for after-school programs and hopes to help meet that need. Popup galleries and events are also an option.

Members are invited to join committees for fundraising, events and programming. The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Glenwood Springs Branch Library. Board positions are also available, and those interested can learn about both membership and board applications at glenwoodarts.org.

The board continues to work to pay down the organization's debt, O'Donnell said. An October sale allowed the center to raise money by selling some of its assets, but its most significant — its piano — remains available.

"It's a valuable, it has sentimental value to us," O'Donnell said. "But yet, we do need to pay our debts."

The board hopes to find the right home for the instrument, and aims to do so within a year.

Glenwood Springs Parks and Recreation Director Brian Smith previously told the Post Independent that the city is reviewing applications for its new arts and culture board. The City Council will interview candidates, and Smith hopes the board will be in place by year's end so programming can begin in early 2018.