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Community support helps keep DAC an artistic hub

By Jaime Wienk

Special to the Herald

As a homegrown Durangoan, I have experienced, participated, volunteered and worked many of the limitless festivals and activities our community orchestrates. All have their uniqueness, personality and activity level.

For the past 24 years, Durango Arts Center has produced the Durango Autumn Arts Festival. Mid-September, when the crisp fall air makes is presence and the leaves begin to change, a tent city evolves and covers a three-block area of Second Avenue. National and local artisans come to showcase and sell their creations.

Coming off this fabulous event last weekend, it dawned on me on how community comes together to keep Durango alive and thriving.

In May, I was hired as the interim executive director of DAC. It was an honor and a pleasure seeing the festival kick off its 24th year and see the importance of bonding the community through art.

I saw many collaborations being made within the volunteer pool, an interconnection between artists, volunteers and the curious patrons wandering through the streets.

The festival is produced for the community, and it brings additional visitors to town.

During the many years of its existence, the festival has broadened its reach, educated a diverse audience and enriched our community with an array of visual artists and musicians.

Nonetheless, DAC is known for being the community arts center in this region, and is necessary for artist and community connectivity. The staff and volunteers of DAC work tirelessly to maintain the integrity of programming, from visual, musical and theater arts.

All of this creativity is consistently happening under one roof! DAC could not be the diverse, unique center it is without the support of our community.

As a nonprofit, DAC relies on yearly membership donations, along with program registrations, business and corporate sponsorships, foundation grants, donations and the sale of the artwork showcased in our gallery. Our volunteer base is priceless, and is its own driving force for our success. As a community center, DAC offers a place for the public to come together to showcase and produce diverse programming in our theater and galleries.

As a multifaceted hub for community arts, DAC has built its reputation as a local arts industry leader and has been working diligently to ensure the arts continue to thrive in the Four Corners.

For more information about the Durango Arts Center or to become a member or sponsor, visit us at www.durangoarts.org.

Jamie Wienk is Durango Arts Center’s interim executive director. Reach her at Jamie@durangoarts.org or 259-2606, ext. 14.