News from FAC President & CEO, David Dahlin
As you know, we have entered into an historic alliance with Colorado College. While this represents a significant evolution for us operationally, collaboration between Colorado College and the Fine Arts Center goes back to our earliest days:
- Back in 1926, when we were still known as the Broadmoor Art Academy, we became the de facto Art Department of Colorado College. This was during an age when professional arts education was transitioning from professional art schools like the Broadmoor Art Academy to accredited colleges and universities such as Colorado College.
- Alice Bemis Taylor originally had planned to build a museum to house her Southwest art collection on CC’s campus. She was persuaded by Julie Penrose to join forces with her to build the Fine Arts Center on our site instead. Today, Alice’s original idea of the museum being a part of Colorado College’s campus is becoming a reality.
- In 1935 while the Fine Arts Center was under construction, we held our first art exhibit as the Fine Arts Center on the CC campus in Cossitt Hall. In the late 1930’s, the FAC and Colorado College jointly hosted an annual “Conference on the Fine Arts.”
It has been a fast eight weeks since we finalized the alliance agreement. Since then we have been fully engaged with the first stages of the strategic planning process. We held four “town hall style” public listening sessions and are now hosting additional focus groups dedicated to different aspects of the Fine Arts Center and various external constituencies. We had good attendance for the public input sessions and it was great to hear about the importance that our programs have in the lives of many. (You can view summaries of these sessions and submit questions and comments at www.coloradocollege.edu/csfac.)
Throughout the coming Fall and Winter months we will continue to engage in this strategic planning process, setting direction for the future of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College. Proposed plans will be shared with the FAC community and the general public in the February through April time period with a deadline for plans to be approved by a committee of both boards by the end of June.
While we plan for the future, our programs continue unabated. We have record registration for our Fall session of Bemis School of Art classes with a wonderful array of media and instructors. We opened the theatre season with the Colorado premiere of Shear Madness, a whacky farce / whodunit / audience participation play that has wildly entertained audiences with a script adapted to Colorado Springs (expect to be made fun of!). And we just opened a marvelous new show in the special exhibition galleries—All I Ever Wanted—showcasing the monumental works of James Surls and Charmaine Locke. We’re off to a great start with a full season of outstanding programming planned; I hope to see you here often.
We are and will remain a community institution in need of the community’s support. Don’t forget to renew your memberships, make your contributions, and encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same. The arts exist because of supporters and patrons who know how important they are for the health and vitality of the community. Let’s show the world that Colorado Springs is a great community with a thriving arts environment and a spirit of collaboration.