Notes from NUTS: It’s finally coming together |

Notes from NUTS: It’s finally coming together

With the recent appointment of Blair Bracken to the position of cultural and special events manager by the City of Rifle for the New Ute Events Center, groups can begin to think seriously of scheduling the center for performances or other kinds of events as soon as it opens. Blair is hoping for a grand opening no later than January and we are all hoping she is not disappointed. All plans for a grand community Christmas (oops! Holiday) event will have to wait until next year.

We are hoping many local artists will discover the joy of having a local venue in which to perform, but we are also expecting that other groups will find the space inviting for functions such as workshops, ceremonies, banquets, receptions, dances, festivals, pageants, symposia, lectures, even meetings and private parties, to name a few. My personal wish is for an ecumenical Messiah performance in the next year or two. The possibilities for community use are numerous because the facility has been designed to be a multi-use venue with state of the art audio and video equipment. We’d like to know what your hopes and dreams for use of the event center are, too. Drop us a line, call us, email us, whatever your communication choice may be.

One of the comments we have heard repeatedly while working through the process of turning the theater into the New Ute Events Center is “Be sure to use the ‘agriculture and industry’ lights from the old theater. They are so much a part of the history.” It is wonderful to see the installation begun of the decorative motifs that will make the historic lights a visual focus. HR Design has done a wonderful job of incorporating them into the overall decor and making them a stand-out element as well. Cannot wait until it is all completed and everyone can see it.

So the Nov. 18 date proposed for completion may have been a little optimistic, but the work is progressing beautifully. It’s not just an attractive facade anymore. Check out our Facebook page for current photos provided by Shelley Aibner (much easier and safer than a tour). The interior walls are starting to be a reality, the dressing rooms and green room are laid out, the stage has been enlarged. There is still a lot to do, of course. The plumbing is far from complete, the reproduction of the murals that graced the interior of the original building has not yet begun. We still have to find the funds for the retractable seating…

It may sound like the distant future, but we will all be applauding the facility and its many uses soon. If you are as eager as we are for the New Ute Events Center to become a reality, it is time to get involved.

Elizabeth Stuver is a board member of the New Ute Theatre Society. For information about the events center project, call (970) 414-0834, follow them on Twitter, @NewUteEvents; Facebook, The New Ute Events Center or Mailing address is P.O. Box 907, Rifle, CO 81650.

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