Positive attitude is contagious at Arts Center

I had the pleasure Friday of attending the fourth annual Women’s Small Business Conference organized by the Small Business Development Center.

I found myself in a breakout work group composed of a unique cross-section of Durango organizations – small business owners, fellow nonprofits and independent entrepreneurs (women, of course). We brainstormed with out-of-the-box thinking and tactics when it comes to marketing who we are and what we have to offer the community.

My name was pulled as a representative of Durango Arts Center. My tablemates were instructed to share what characteristics they would like to see and experience from DAC marketing and to recommend what characteristics would make a more effective and engaging message to the community.

Resoundingly, everyone at the table understood that DAC is a local nonprofit dependent on community-support and membership dollars to provide the multitude of services that we offer the community (arts education, performing art, exhibits and events). However, everyone agreed that we should focus on the positive, focus on community.

So I’m taking that feedback to heart and would like to focus on some recent celebrations.

DAC celebrated 40 years in April and recently received the Durango Chamber of Commerce’s Nonprofit of the Year Award. A huge, but not so glamorous recent accomplishment, is the completion of DAC’s Strategic Plan with community focus groups engaging teachers, educators, artists, businesses, members and volunteers to better understand the delivery of our mission and vision.

DAC was founded on community arts and continues to serve the community and community artists as best as possible. It is an unfolding invitation and developing platform that DAC is continuing to improve. For artist members, DAC has a plethora of resources to utilize:

Online Artists’ Directory (currently showcasing 28 member artists)

Online Exhibit (rotating three-month online exhibitions showcasing member artists)

Annual Juried Exhibit (a regional favorite displaying a diversity of artwork)

Annual Member’s Exhibit (This year’s theme is drought. The exhibit will be held from Oct. 25-Nov. 16)

DAC Lobby mini-gallery (currently showing installations by Shay Lopez of Studio &)

Master arts education classes in visual and performing art

Opportunities for local artists to teach arts education

Theater and studio rentals for classes, performances, shows and events

Local art galleries listing on website

One way we are keeping an active conversation going with the community is with Art Over Coffee. DAC’s executive director, Peggy Zemach, board members Tim Kapustka and Stacey Stasi and I host conversations every Monday with different community members representing all public sectors – maybe you’re next on our list.

Durango Arts Center will continue to bolster our mission to provide Durango and surrounding communities opportunities to create, to promote and to participate in diverse arts experiences.

elsa@durangoarts.org. Elsa Jagniecki is the marketing coordinator at Durango Arts Center.

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