The Grand Mesa Arts & Events Center (GMAEC) is launching its first annual membership drive with something for everyone: a dance event featuring music from the 1950s through 2019. Arts enthusiasts are invited to come dressed as their favorite decade and boogie or twist or disco or whatever the night away. Chili and beverages will be available for purchase. The event is scheduled for Saturday, March 30, from 6-10 p.m. with a $10 cover at the door.
Since its grand opening in June 2018, the GMAEC has celebrated several milestones including sold-out concerts, popular art exhibits and art classes, and several community events. Community discussions which led to establishing the center began in 2017 and the center's grand opening followed in June 2018. Now, as the center approaches its first anniversary of operation, organizers are seeking to sustain and expand offerings.
Deborah Shaffer, GMAEC executive director, is enthusiastic about the center's accomplishments and its bright future. "At the Grand Mesa Arts & Events Center, we look back over 2018 in awe and with gratitude. Awe at what inspiration and determination can set in motion and gratitude for our friends, families, neighbors and visitors who helped us accomplish what many assumed was impossible."
From its inception, the Grand Mesa Arts & Events Center has benefited from the community's synchronicity, generosity and talent. The right people at the right place and at the right time all came together, and within 10 months of dedicated effort, the doors opened to a beautifully renovated, historic building.
The new venue has become a hub of creative activity. Located in downtown Cedaredge at the intersection of West Main Street and 2nd Street, the solid brick building is home to a state-of-the-art black box theatre, a light-filled gallery, and educational spaces.
The works of several local craftsmen, artists, and artisans are visible in the building's custom appointments and permanent fixtures from a stained-glass panel that crowns the entrance door to ornately-carved wooden doors of the restrooms. The result is a labor of love by residents for their community and a home to a growing number of artists, writers, performers and craftsmen who now have a venue for sharing their talents and enriching lives.
And then there are the volunteers. The center is open seven days a week thanks to the generosity and devotion of 175 volunteers who welcome visitors to the gallery, conduct tours, organize and assist at classes for adults and children, and staff live performances.
The community has welcomed the center and embraced it as a point of pride. Every week, residents bring visiting family members and friends to see what their community built and supports.
"As we look forward to our one-year anniversary in June," said Shaffer, "we also anticipate what it will take to keep our momentum. The focus for 2019 will be expanding our programming to include adult and children's theatre, movie nights and matinees, writers' and musicians' workshops and programs presented in partnership with veterans' organizations. Critical to maintaining our operational viability will be increasing membership, holding fundraising events and applying for grants."
"And it is particularly vital that individuals and businesses sustain their support by providing continuing monthly donations. Such on-going support will be the foundation of the center's continued success." For a schedule of upcoming events and to learn more about the center, to donate, and to volunteer, visit the GMAEC website: www.grandmesaartscenter.com.