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NON-PROFIT HAPPENINGS - December 2006

Moab Arts Council
Your one-stop for the Arts in Moab

By Bruce Hucko, MAC co-chair

Utah was the first state in the nation to organize and support a state arts agency. The founders of our fair state recognized the great public value offered by music, dance, theater and visual art. More importantly they recognized how the arts help provide a true sense of community by “drawing” people together to share in the Moab Arts Counciluniquely human experience of creative self expression. The Moab Arts Council (MAC) continues this heritage in its own unique way. First incorporated in 1987, MAC has grown and adapted to meet the ever-growing interest in the arts in our community.

Our mission is to promote and support the arts in Southeastern Utah. We do this with the belief and understanding that arts activities, events and education provide for general community well being while contributing to economic diversity. In our “big picture” view we see the growth of the arts in all directions as simply making Moab a better place to be for residents and visitors alike. The MAC currently acts as an arts advocacy, leadership and granting organization. Under our grant program we manage and re-distribute funds that the Moab City Council allocates for community arts projects. This past year our grant fund was added to by the Red Rock Four Wheelers and Mr. Bill Carson of Santa Fe. Through this program we help bring you the Community Dance Band, the Dance Residency at HMK, Art walk, Desert Child Music, Moab Artists Studio Tour, Moab Photography Symposium, the Halloween Carnival at the MARC and other valued programs. We offer “umbrella” not-for-profit 501c.3 status for groups or individuals seeking grants. We have a volunteer board and we are looking for a few new members! We operate an active website that serves as the one stop “shopping” place for the arts in Moab. (www.moabartscouncil.org)

YOUR arts council is working diligently to enhance and sustain the arts in our community. We recently hosted the 2nd Annual Community Arts Roundtable. Community members gathered to share their dreams, concerns, plans and actions. Our community wants more arts education, stronger support for local artists and arts events, and, of course, more funding! Visit our website to review the entire summary and to add your input. The arts play a vital role in the growth and sustainability of local economies. New studies reveal that communities with a positive Creative Vitality Index serve as a great incubator for current and new business. A thriving arts community raises the quality of life in any community and helps to attract new businesses, which, in turn, can help raise the economic base of the entire community.

MAC is currently engaged in two grant projects that will give a strong boost to the arts in Moab. We recently partnered with all of our annual arts events and MoabARTS.com to successfully apply to the Utah Office of Tourism’s Cooperative Marketing Program to promote Moab as an arts destination in out-of-state markets. With matching funds from the UOT Program we’ll be able to reach new arts-oriented markets via print and web advertising. We want to grow the number of visitors who participate in the arts through increased attendance and ticket sales, art purchases, and philanthropic support.

Together with the City of Moab and the Moab Arts Festival we have applied to the Utah Arts Council’s Creative Communities Initiative program that focuses on strengthening the role of arts and culture in local economic development. This project will help Moab realize the economic potential of its rich arts community through a series of workshops for the arts, business and governmental community. With the Moab Arts Festival we’ve proposed a public art project where community members will be guided by a professional artist in the creation of a hand-made public art mural to be displayed permanently in the city. This annual public project will help develop public pride and ownership in the arts. The project will also inaugurate an annual Mayor’s Arts Awards program thereby raising the visibility of the arts.

In this Christmas season please consider the role the arts play in your life and our community. What would Moab be like to live in without the annual Arts Festival, Music Festival and Folk Festival? What if KZMU, Star Hall, Moab Community Theater, the Community Dance Band, Summer Strings, the Recorder Choir and the many school productions fell silent? What would a walk down Mill Creek be without the Xylophone Park, the Youth Garden Sculptures or the walkway itself? Think of our community landscape without the Diversity Mural, the Skate Park Mural, Sun Court, Moonstone Gallery, the new City Hall/County Library landscaping, or the many Nik Hougen murals inside and outside local businesses. Take a slow walk down Main and Center streets and close all businesses that sell fine art, crafts, literature or any object of beauty. Take your child’s drawing off the refrigerator, hide your grandmother’s handmade quilt, let your own home garden and landscaping go to weeds, and paint all your walls white. It gets pretty bleak doesn’t it? The arts – music, theater, dance, visual, sculpture, literature, etc. – serve to enliven a community. They offer us the opportunity to celebrate ourselves and our diversity. The arts are not an annual stocking stuffer, they are a permanent part of a living Christmas tree, one that delivers gifts year-round.

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