Arts Center is thankful for generosity

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Durango Arts Center!

After a day off Thursday, the DAC will gear up for the holidays with the opening Friday of the Winter Solstice Artisans’ Market, where you’ll find a great selection of fine arts and crafts from more than 50 regional artists.

On Saturday, we’ll set you up with everything you need to create some great holiday ornaments in our seasonal classes, and in December, plan to attend a performance of “A Christmas Carol,” Jacqueline Goldfinger’s poignant adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic. Then Dec. 21, join us as we bring back the light at the Second Avenue Winter Solstice Festival.

Promotions aside, this article is actually about gratitude and giving. On behalf of the board and staff members, I’d like to express our thanks to our members, donors and volunteers who support Durango Arts Center with gifts of dollars and time. It is their generosity that has sustained us throughout our almost 50-year history. As for giving, we hope you’ll keep DAC in mind this season. If you haven’t joined yet or if you need to renew your membership, what better gift could you give to your arts center than to do so now? You also could purchase a membership for a friend, neighbor or relative – that would be giving two gifts at once.

The Arts Center receives no federal, state, county or local funding. While we do receive grant funding and sponsorships, this money is directed toward specific programs. Otherwise, we rely solely on the generous gifts of our members and donors. Every 100 members have the potential to generate about $10,000 in membership donations.

We have set a goal of having 1,000 members by the end of 2012, which means a possible $100,000 in annual income. We need this membership base to sustain us and help us meet payroll, pay the bills and support our programming. Also, DAC is one of the few nonprofits in the area to own its building. We’re proud that we’ve put one of Durango’s historic treasures to good use, but that also means we’re responsible for associated maintenance costs.

We’ve also got a gift for you. We’re a “full-service” arts organization, offering 12 to 14 exhibits annually in the Barbara Conrad gallery as well as six exhibits each year in our art library (where you’ll also find a superb collection of art books and magazines); also an education program providing classes for adults, teens and children; the docents giving tours of exhibits and taking their Art in the Schools program to elementary students, and DAC will launch it’s first-ever theater season in 2013. Nowhere else in the Four Corners will you find this variety and quality of arts all under one roof.

Please join the Arts Center or renew your membership, and encourage your friends to join, too. The next time you’re in the building, stop by our reception desk and fill out a membership form. You can also can download one from our website, Or give us a call and we’ll be happy to take your membership over the phone. Help us achieve our goal of 1,000 members.

Jeannie Berger is the membership & volunteer coordinator at the Durango Arts Center. Reach her at

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