Twelve years after its founding in 2010, Dancing Spirit Community Arts Center is moving toward having a permanent location.
On April 13, community members started shoveling dirt on two lots the nonprofit center purchased at 465 Goddard Ave. in downtown Ignacio.
Representatives from the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Ignacio School District, Sky Ute Casino, SunUte Community Center, Ignacio Community Library and town of Ignacio joined in blessings, speeches and well wishes for the new endeavor.
After years of moving to different locations, a permanent home will provide more room and higher visibility than the current space in Ignacio’s ELHI, a former elementary school that has been converted into office space and an education and community center.
“It’s really just going to be able to offer so much more to the community,” said Anthony Box, president of the nonprofit center’s board of directors. “With our own facility, we can have more classes, more artists ... (and) workshops.”
The ELHI location “has been a great, great, place,” he said, but without a visible building on Goddard Avenue, the main thoroughfare in town, “people don’t know we’re there.”
The two lots were purchased with grant funding from a private donor and the Southwest Colorado Community Foundation, said Kasey Correia, the center’s founder and executive director.
The center is holding a black-tie event on April 30 in hopes of raising $50,000, which will be matched by another private donor. That would provide enough funding to tie into utilities, pour a foundation and start on the exterior of the building.
After that, the center will apply for a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan, as well as for funding from Colorado Creative Industries, an arm of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.
“The support for the new building is huge,” said Correia, noting the center offers after-school art programs, take-home art kits, adult workshops, private studio space, pottery classes and healing through art sessions. “It’s everybody’s art center; we want everyone to participate and shape that.”
More information about the project is available online at www.dancingspiritgallery.org.