Tuesday, February 22, 2005
As was mentioned in the Feb. 13 "Sound Off" by an anonymous writer and in The Local by Helena H. Pannier, the Friday Foreign Film Series hosted by the Steamboat Springs Arts Council at Centennial Hall has indeed been canceled. In the face of waning interest in the program and exceedingly limited resources, we had to make the unhappy decision to marshal our resources in programs that enjoy broader community support.
That's the bad news. However, we have good news to report: There is nothing the arts council would love more than to bring the Friday film series back. All we need are volunteers to commit to the event, and a substantially larger number of attendees willing to throw a few bucks into the donation jar. A number of new $35 memberships requesting the return of the Friday Foreign Film Series certainly would go a long way, as would a heightened interest in the SSAC Film Committee and Guild. This is no idle challenge: Should we receive 10 calls or e-mails by the end of the week with serious offers of assistance, we will give serious consideration to bringing the film series back. Call us at the Depot Art Center at 879-9008, or drop us an e-mail at email@example.com, and let's talk.
In the interest of clarity, a few corrections to these public statements are in order. Contrary to the suggestion that the arts council is a department of the city, we are not. The Steamboat Springs Arts Council is a private 501c(3) nonprofit organization that receives about 18 percent of its funding from the city, with the other 82 percent coming from our membership, fund-raisers, grants and contributions from affiliates. We do not "rule" the arts and entertainment in Steamboat Springs, as Pannier suggests, but merely help about 25 affiliate community organizations concerned with the arts, such as the Emerald City Opera Company, the Steamboat Springs Chamber Orchestra, the Steamboat Dance Theater and The Center for Movement Arts. Our programs include several arts festivals, such as the Beaux Art Festival and Art in the Park. We maintain an "active artists" list of 700 artists, annually host more than 18,000 visitors at the Depot and arts council events, 85 percent of which are free to the public. We do all of this, and much more, on a base budget of $281,000. I dare say it is money well spent, for the economic effect on our community is immeasurable.
As you can see, it's a big job, and we love doing it. That said, we can always use more help. So send in your membership, donate your time and energy. We'll plug in the projector and turn down the lights ...
President of the Board, SSAC