Arts Council seeks community input as it plans for the future | PostIndependent.com

Arts Council seeks community input as it plans for the future

Carla Jean Whitley
cj@postindependent.com
Dancers reherse for the 25th anniversary of Dancers Dancing in 2017. The dance performance was a signature event of the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Meet the board

Tammy Girardot, president

Girardot knew each of the founding members of the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts, her children participated in the organization’s classes and Girardot designed costumes for the annual Dancers Dancing show. “I truly realized how integral and interwoven into my life the Arts Council was and, also, how integral it is for the community, after listening to Maurine Taufer speak of the history of the Glenwood Springs Arts Council at last year’s Dancers Dancing,” she said. “This became a personal, as well as community, matter to not only honor the arts, but also to honor the founding members.”

Bonnie Kratovil, vice president

Kratovil serves on both the arts council board and the city-run arts and culture board. “I am a devoted believer in the power and importance of the arts to the quality and richness of all our lives,” she said. “As a new member of the community I wanted to involve myself as quickly as possible in the local arts community and do what I could to foster its health.”

Judy O’Donnell, treasurer

O’Donnell first became involved in the arts center whe she moved to the area in 1990. “It was the most active organization in town and they were doing fun things,” she said. As the center faced financial troubles in 2017, O’Donnell decided to join the council’s board. “To me, (the arts center) is the life of this community.”

Lisa Girardot, secretary

Girardot is new to Glenwood, as she moved here a year ago, but her husband grew up in town. She joined the arts council board to become better involved in the community while contributing her marketing and fundraising experience to the group. “It brings a richness and depth to a community when the arts are part of it,” she said.

Laurie Chase, member at large

Chase’s granddaughter, now 13, began dancing at the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts when she was 3. Chase saw the way dance and other classes influenced her granddaughter, and wanted to be part of helping the organization get back on its feet.

Stay in touch with the Glenwood Springs Arts Council board and find information about how to join the organization or volunteer at glenwoodarts.org.

What sort of arts programming would best serve Glenwood Springs? Are scholarships for young artists important? Or should community arts classes take precedence?

The Glenwood Springs Arts Council is considering these and other questions as it continues to reshape the organization. The council, which previously ran the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts, found itself faced with $60,000 of debt in spring 2017. The city revoked its $50,000-per-year funding and the lease on the center’s physical space, located in the former hydroelectric building on Sixth Street.

But the organization is not dead.

With a new board in place, the council continues to work to understand how it can best serve Glenwood Springs. This week, the group launched a survey to help determine community interests. From there, the council will establish its core values, purpose, vision and mission.

The city has also established a separate organization, the arts and culture board, which advises the city on promoting and funding the arts. Arts Council Vice President Bonnie Kratovil also sits on that board.

The arts council is working with third-party organization NonProfit Resources to develop a strategic plan. The group launched the survey at surveymonkey.com/r/GWSAC1, and will also train the council’s board on its responsibilities.

Meanwhile, the board is still working to pay off the organization’s debts. It is in the process of selling its piano, one of its most significant assets, to the Ute Theater in Rifle. The board has maintained a list of everyone to whom it owes money and is committed to paying all verifiable debts, ideally by the end of the year.

“We’re working extremely hard going forward,” said council President Tammy Girardot. “We recognize the challenges of the past are there. We look at those now as opportunities to reinvent and reinvigorate ourselves.”

Treasurer Judy O’Donnell added, “We hope to regain the confidence of people in Glenwood.”


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