By MaryAnne Andersen
Cedar City Arts Council
Arts councils are in the business of supporting the arts, encouraging individuals and small groups to share their talents with a community, thereby elevating the cultural experience of all. Most cities, large or small, have arts councils. In a small Pennsylvania town, the council provides a small gallery space for local artists. In a Montana resort, the arts council sponsors theater in the park and a huge farmers’ market one night a week. The Salt Lake City Arts Council is large and very visible with its sponsorship of numerous public cultural events.
In Cedar City, our resources are small, but that does not deter the Council from making a difference in the lives of many, if not most, of the residents of Iron County, and of course one of the most effective means of support to our local artists is through the Artists’ Mini-Grant Program. We have just awarded mini-grants to nine applicants whose goals are two-fold: improvement of their creative efforts and, very important to the council, connection with the local residents.
Camille Dailey’s sensibilities are wounded by an ugly window on our charming Main Street. She proposed using her skills at stained-glass to create a window that would be an improvement to the artistic environment of us all. Alexa Harding wants to improve her local visible presence as a ceramicist with more exhibits and a growing ceramics business. Joseph Favina, an acrylic artist who has displayed and demonstrated his work for children and at the Council’s Final Friday Art Walks, wants to improve his demonstration capabilities with a portable projector and easel. James Howells of the Iron County Acoustic Music Association asked for resources to improve the lighting capabilities at the Association’s monthly concerts, at which they feature local artists in performance.
Kimberly Simpson has been a member of the Cedar City Youth Volunteer Corps for about 3 years. She is a young artist who saw an opportunity to share her love of creating small art projects with children in her neighborhood who lacked creative experience. She will receive funds for supplies and continued art studies. Dawn Aerts’ volunteer efforts to provide enriching after-school activities for the students of North Elementary will focus on musical experiences this fall, through guest appearances of local musicians.
At Mona Woolsey’s request, the Southern Utah Water Color Society will receive help to purchase a rail system to properly hang their frequent art shows at Frontier Homestead State Park.
Carylee Zwang introduced the Council to the Beez Band, a small band which plays music familiar to most Cedar Citians. With the Council’s help, the band will purchase two speakers to improve its performing capabilities. Tom Herb is creating an umbrella organization to promote the visibility and increased performance opportunities for the jazz groups in town. Watch for them at Off the Cuff Improv, where students will go free.
With all of that art getting out into the community, you would have to be a real culture recluse to not benefit in some way.