By Mary Anne Anderson
Cedar City Arts Council
Recently, I was at the hospital for some routine screening tests (not the most fun of days) and the receptionist was asking her usual questions: “Are you receiving black lung disease benefits?” (Do I look like a coal miner?) “Are you receiving hospice care?” (I’m sitting here, aren’t?) Of course, I was not rude in my answers; she had a job to do. But she was a little chagrined, I thought, and to lighten the mood she said, “Can I change the subject?” (Yes. please.) “I read your column every week in Iron County Today and I really learn a lot of things that I wouldn’t know otherwise.”
My mood immediately picked up! Here was an obviously intelligent, culturally-superior citizen wanting to talk about the important stuff, like the Arts Council’s weekly information column. Someone was paying attention. It was very reassuring, to say the least. Once I have submitted an article, who’s to know if it ever makes eye contact with anyone at all?!
Another way I know someone is actually reading us is the answer I receive to one of the questions on the Mini-Grant application form. The question is, “How did you hear about the Arts Council’s Artists’ Mini-Grants Program?” And often the answer is, “From the newspaper.”
So now that you are reading this, pay attention, because you might learn something you wouldn’t know otherwise. Every six months, the Cedar City Arts Council awards grants of up to $500 to artists and musicians in all genres living in Iron County. Over the years we have bought instruments, instrument cases, instrument repair for performing musicians. We have bought easels, supplies, and lessons for artists and then helped them rent space to show their work. We have helped buy costumes for dancers, music for choirs, and recording studio time for singers. Elementary schools have used our help when tight school budgets would not stretch to cover pre-school choirs or after-school art classes.
The current award application deadline is August 31 and we are hoping that by now, many deserving hopefuls know about this program and are ready to go to our website, cedarcityartscouncil.org, and download the application form. If this is news to you, aren’t you glad you picked up this paper today? You, or someone you know, might be able to get a small boost for a legitimate artistic need. Our greatest satisfaction occurs when the modest amount of the award means the difference between business-as-usual and the next step up for an artist whose soul is fed through art or music.
PHOTO courtesy of Mary Anne Anderson