Celebrate The Center for the Arts | TheUnion.com

Celebrate The Center for the Arts

A community’s quality of life is often judged by its dedication to exceptional education, good public safety and diverse and accessible arts. Nevada County is blessed with an abundance of each.

One shining example is The Center for the Arts on Main Street in Grass Valley. Sunday (Oct. 17), that newly renovated facility is hosting an open house from 3 until 7 p.m.

“It is our goal on that day to showcase the numerous ways the center serves our community,” reads the invitation. “Many local organizations that use the center for their programs and performances will be present.”

The center’s mission is to “promote the visual, literary and performing arts by providing a venue for artists to exhibit and perform.”

So far as we can see, it is achieving that mission wonderfully.

Opened in 1998 through the primary efforts of its previous owner and current board president, the center is home to the Sierra Dance Institute, which leases nearly 4,000 of the center’s 21,000 square feet. The Main Stage Theater, which comfortably seats 300, hosted more than 150 performances last year and the board anticipates even more events this year. Almost hidden in the back of the center is the cozy but delightful Off Center Stage theater, where local and regional artists often showcase their works.

On any given day, the center is alive with children, as charter schools use the facilities for the day, or during performances and art shows. It’s that diversity of use – young, old and in-between – that makes the center such a wonderful community treasure.

And while the center’s board is excited to showcase the building – particularly the impressive new facade – they are also looking for some financial support.

“We’d like to acquire 300 new members by the end of the year,” said president John Blinder. A membership can be had for as little as $50.

“We feel that there is a perception that we don’t need the money,” said Blinder. “And while we do get 80 percent of our revenue from ticket sales and rentals (versus most community theaters that rely more on grants and donations), we are a lean organization that still needs the community support.”

The center’s 2004 budget is $350,000.

Sunday’s event will feature entertainment, food, beverages and drawings for “dinner and a show.” We hope you attend, and we encourage you to support this worthwhile effort that contributes so much to our community. It’s one of the many reasons we live here.

For more information on Sunday’s event, contact the center at 274-8384.

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