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Arts are at risk in Delta County

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Dear Editor:

I am dismayed by the lack of interest in Arts Coalition of Delta County!

On Monday evening, Dec. 11, the Arts Coalition of Delta County board of directors will meet to decide if we will continue as a nonprofit organization.

The group has been planning and working on a plan conceived by myself and improved by board member discussions and suggestions. Just a few years ago, members of the Valley Symphony Orchestra and supporters of the group were upset and contacted me to help keep the Valley Symphony from moving to Montrose County. The VSO was started in Cedaredge and supported by many people in Delta County. It had grown and prospered while it was in Delta County with lots of hard work and determination. However, the board of the VSO (all members from Montrose County) voted to move from Delta County to Montrose County. They were disappointed in the auditorium and opted for the Montrose Pavilion.

That move was the deciding factor to implement the idea that would change Delta County into a stopping destination rather than a drive-through area. People I talked with were impressed with the plans to build a new, modern auditorium large enough to draw quality programs and conventions to Delta County. We realized that this idea would not only help us focus more on the "arts," but also help our own county financially by drawing visitors to spend a night or two here and to take advantage of our many local attractions.

The City of Montrose is a good example! They built a small auditorium which brought in many millions of dollars a year to the economy! They are still reaping the benefits of more jobs, more business, higher wages and an economy considered robust, compared to Delta County.

Several weeks ago I had a story appear in the DCI asking for help with replacing several board members that were unable to continue because of health problems or because they moved out of Delta County. We would have also tried to enlarge the board. The only requirement for the board is to be a citizen of Delta County and be installed by the existing board.

We had no one in the county show any interest at all! Therefore, I will entertain a motion at the next meeting to disband the nonprofit organization.

There has not been a better chance or appropriate way of growing our economy, creating jobs, increasing business flow, and to provide a place where the "arts" are valued than what we were offering.

If you would like more information on the upcoming board meeting, or have questions, please call me at 640-6520.

Richard E. Weldon
Board of Directors
Arts Coalition of
Delta County

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