Center for the Arts to examine board membership | PostIndependent.com

Center for the Arts to examine board membership

Carla Jean Whitley
cj@postindependent.com
The Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts put on its 25th annual Dancers Dancing recital this year, despite threats of closing in April.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent |

Membership meeting

Aug. 1, 7 p.m. The board will update members on its efforts and hear suggestions for the future. It is also open to changes in the board, which require membership vote. Those interested in applying for the board should contact brie@glenwoodarts.org. According to a message sent to membership, the board’s focus in recent months has been:

To keep the center open and running to allow for continuity for our members, work for our teachers, and proof to the City Council of the value and importance of the Center

To reimburse our teachers for their valuable time and expertise

To meet financial obligations in the community

To create a new business plan for the future

Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts, 601 E. Sixth St., Glenwood Springs | 945-2414 | glenwoodarts.org

A lot remains in flux as the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts pays down substantial debt and its finances remain the subject of a police investigation. But the center continues to move forward with fundraising and classes in an effort to create a sustainable future.

To that end, it will hold a membership meeting Aug. 1 to hear ideas and consider changes to the board.

“They wanted to be able to share thoughts and their plans and ideas and gather creative solutions from the membership for the future,” said Betsy Suerth, volunteer interim executive administrator.

“The board is so vested in the mission of the center that they are willing to step down if that’s something that the membership wants to happen,” Suerth said. “They’re willing to keep serving because they love the organization, so they want to be very flexible. Their goal is to keep the center open and running and providing wonderful amenities to the community.”

The center’s membership meets at least once a year, she said. The board will offer short-term, discounted membership of $25, valid through the end of 2017. All of its 2017 teachers are automatically enrolled in a free membership, which will also expire Dec. 31.

“We know there are many people in our community with lapsed memberships, including volunteers and active supporters of the center,” the board wrote in an email. “If you are in this category, we ask that you take time to renew your membership and encourage any supporters of the center to renew or obtain membership before this meeting so that they can come, have a voice and vote on important issues.”

Work continues

In the same message, the board identified several successes so far, including its fundraisers. The 25th annual Dancers Dancing, held in May, included a fundraiser dinner. The event paid for itself and allowed the board to pay teachers a small portion of what they were owed.

Friends of the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts hosted a June fundraiser at the Glenwood Springs Vaudeville Revue. It raised more than $11,000, all of which went to the center’s teachers.

The organization has also received about $6,000 in personal donations, a $2,000 grant from Coldwell Banker for summer programs and $1,000 from Enterprise Holdings. The outstanding debt, when the center first announced its financial problems, was estimated at $68,000.

“As the summer programs advance and the board is able to gain steps financially, we’re slowly paying back those vendors for outstanding balances,” Suerth said. “Many of those vendors have been kind enough to suspend those bills until we’re able to pay them, so we’re very thankful to those vendors, such as Hotel Colorado.”

The board is also researching grants the center may be eligible for, Suerth said, while the administration works to assemble the organization’s books.

The center’s summer schedule isn’t as robust as in years past because of the budget, Suerth noted. But she deemed the first summer dance camp, which concluded in June, a success. A second dance camp will begin July 31. The summer calendar also includes open studio time for pottery, silversmithing and art classes for children. Private instruction is available in voice, piano, guitar, songwriting and ukulele.

Edited July 12 to correct the organization that donated $1,000.


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