Writer Harriet Freiberger, right, and painter Carol Jean visit with Darrel Levingston in front of one of Jean’s paintings Friday during the Steamboat Springs Arts Council’s annual meeting at the Depot Art Center.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Writer Harriet Freiberger, right, and painter Carol Jean visit with Darrel Levingston in front of one of Jean’s paintings Friday during the Steamboat Springs Arts Council’s annual meeting at the Depot Art Center.

Arts Council announces planned programs, gives updates at annual meeting

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To learn more about the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, visit the group’s recently re-launched Web site at www.steamboatspringsarts.com. The group also has a Facebook social networking page; go to www.facebook.com and search for “Steamboat Springs Arts Council.” To subscribe to the Arts Council’s weekly “Upcoming in the Arts” events listings and news e-mail, send a message to rradetsky@steambo....

— The mood was light at the Steam­­boat Springs Arts Coun­­cil’s annual meeting Fri­day, as board members shared updates about the nonprofit arts organization with member artists, organizations and supporters.

Returning Board President Kelly Anzalone opened the meet­ing with gratitude for the pleasant circumstances, and Arts Coun­cil Interim Executive Di­­rec­tor Clark Davidson introduced himself and offered an overview of organizational de­­velopments.

With art on the walls at the Depot Art Center, a play scheduled for the venue at the end of March and new educational programs in the works for the summer, the Arts Council is moving forward after a period of financial trouble.

Going into 2009, the Arts Council carried about $100,000 in debt. By the time the board held its annual meeting in June 2009, that debt had been cut in half. These days, the debt is gone and the Arts Council bank account “is flush,” Davidson said in an interview Thursday.

With a strong base and “upward potential for what can be done for the community with that base,” the Arts Council spent 2009 tightening its belt and pushing to “get everything back to even,” Davidson said.

Davidson joined the Arts Council board about a year ago, he said. He asked to sit in as executive director at the end of the year and is on board to keep that role until at least the end of 2010, he said. An accountant and lawyer by trade, Davidson moved back to Steamboat Springs full time after spending time in Cali­fornia early last summer.

“For me, its just been a wonderful experience, and I just want to thank all the members who have been so supportive and all the community members who have been so supportive,” Davidson said.

New, returning programming

There were about 100 more events at the Depot in 2009 than there were in 2008, Anzalone said at Friday’s meeting.

Arts Council employees and board members hope to keep the numbers rising. On the events schedule for spring are a production of the Tom Stoppard murder mystery spoof “The Real Inspec­­tor Hound”; monthly movie screenings as part of a free third Friday series presented with Bud Werner Memorial Library; and a three-night run of the annual variety show fundraiser Cabaret.

A singer-songwriter concert series that started in fall 2009 will continue to work with local artists, and the Arts Council’s Visual Arts Committee has gallery shows scheduled for most of the remaining months in 2010.

In the works for summer is a collection of daytime programs for elementary school children. Davidson hopes to expand on the children’s theater program that Stuart Handloff will teach for the second time this summer by adding programs in dance and visual art. Local teachers would be paid to lead the programs, which would cost about $2 a class for children and families, he said.

Also in development is a filmed version of the musical “Beauty and the Beast,” starring students from Steamboat Springs Middle School. That project came together when a middle school parent approached the Arts Council about helping put on a school play.

“I think the Arts Council needs to be there to fill in gaps in the community,” Anzalone said. He and Handloff have a cast ready to go and plan to start recording music for the musical near the end of March. Filming is scheduled to start in April.

Reaching out, cleaning up

For the past several months, Arts Council Program Manager Rachel Radetsky has sent out a weekly e-mail detailing upcoming events to Arts Council members and supporters. She’s also started an Arts Council page offering news updates and event information on the social networking Web site Facebook. Local musician and Arts Council supporter Andy Pratt has the organization’s official Web site up and running.

Repairs and maintenance to the Depot are slated for April. A volunteer weekend to clean up around the outside of the building is tentatively scheduled for the third weekend in April.

Also at Friday’s meeting, Arts Council members approved the organization’s current board of directors. That board is Kelly An­­zalone, president; Holly Nelson, vice president; Marion Ayer, treasurer; Katy Kriz, secretary; Jessica Craft, board member specializing in education and volunteers; and Mary Levingston, Visual Arts Com­­mittee chairwoman.

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