Arts Council announces fall Mini-Grant recipients

By Mary Anne Andersen

Cedar City Arts Council

I think that most of us have a built-in desire to share the good things we have or find. Psychologists would probably say that it is just the same instinct that governs the activities of bees or ants:  group survival demands that we share the source of good food. But there is no survival mode at work in the generosity of the four recipients of this term’s Artists’ Mini-Grants. The following organizations have found ways to share art experiences with others, even when it involves work and hassle. The Cedar City Arts Council is more than happy to recognize and reward their efforts.

The most well-known organization is probably the Southern Utah Woodturners. These wood workers of all ages, male and female, have the joy of making beautiful, beautiful art objects, and then gild the lily by using their creations to benefit others. The Woodturners have donated art worth over $20,000 to the Cedar City Hospital Foundation. They donated a gorgeous bowl to the winner of Stage One of the Tour of Utah. And most dear to my heart, they are teaches and mentors to students of all ages who wish to learn this rewarding art form. The Arts Council is honored to support them in their work.

The Iron County Acoustic Music Association is a fairly new organization dedicated to the goal of providing performance opportunities for our local acoustic musicians. Since January of this year, they have sponsored about 10 local music groups—-from blue grass to folk rock—-for a total attendance of nearly 500 audience members. Their usual venue is the Presbyterian Church; they encourage donations, but you could just walk right in. They want a better lighting set-up than they are currently using, and asked for some assistance from the CCAC. The answer was a happy yes.

Think about the little communities of Beryl and Escalante to the west of us. A group of giving individuals is in the process of creating their own Escalante Valley Arts Council. Rebecca Shelley has informed us of their efforts to achieve legal and tax-free status to organize into a council with the goal of providing space for arts activities of all types to their community residents. They have found persons to lead artistic, literary, musical, theater, and dance sessions in their Beryl Community Center. They are even preparing a presentation of the Nutcracker Ballet, undoubtedly fulfilling some adorable 10-year-old child’s dream of being a snowflake or a mouse. Thumbs up to helping them with the rental costs of the community center.

Blaine DeMille is an artist of some long experience who is now in a position to produce more art and make it available to the community. He has exhibited at the Frontier Homestead Museum and was commissioned to create a landscape painting by an admiring patron. Blaine needs more tech equipment to place his work even more in the community’s view.

How fortunate we are to help these creators share with the rest of us.


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