Arts Council enriches community through ‘art is for everyone’ philosophyDec 02, 2022 12:26PM ● By Jolene Croasmun
By Jolene Croasmun | [email protected]
The Cottonwood Heights Art Council members met on Oct. 19 for a retreat. They began their meeting going over past and upcoming events and keeping their budget in mind for the fiscal year. This retreat was also an opportunity for the Arts Council to plan next year's events.
The Arts Council stayed within budget for the community musical, “Willy Wonka.” Culture Manager Ann Eatchel said, “We have been doing the play since 2010. ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' was the first.”
Members worked on the idea for next summer’s musical held in Cottonwood Heights. “Mama Mia” was originally voted on but they could not get the rights for it so the council went back to the drawing board.
Tammy Ross, board member and also the theatre liaison said, “We hope to decide next year’s musical tonight.” When asked if they ever just put on a play, Ross said, “A musical does better than nonmusical productions in Utah.” Auditions will be held in March.
Eatchel also stated that, “Cottonwood Heights applied for a ZAP grant to pay for the cost associated with the musical production.” She said there was a charge to see the play and “the money collected from the play goes back into the city.”
Chair Laura Garcia went over the cost of other activities that happened this year and upcoming events which the council appeared to be on target with too. The Painting in the Park, the children’s choir, Artist of the Month, Bark in the Park, Monster Mash and Light the Heights were some of the activities they discussed.
For February, the council is considering having schools write love letters and a Valentines’ paint night for couples.
A new sculpture of a cottonwood leaf has been paid for and is now on display in front of the Cottonwood Heights City Hall. Artist Malen Pierson used recycled materials for the metal sculpture attached to a boulder. It is titled, “Cottonwood Leaf: Nature, Art and History.”
The council talked about the possibility of adding more visual art to the community by having a mural painted in Cottonwood Heights or by wrapping electrical boxes with art.
Garcia stated that “the theme is to bring art to the community instead of always bringing the community to art.” Typically, the Arts Council would host an event for anyone to participate, but not all of the community joins in. By installing this sculpture and creating a mural or wrapping electrical boxes with art, everyone who passes by has the opportunity to enjoy these items. Garcia said that she “wants to revisit this approach to bringing art to the community this year.”
Aspen Winds performed “Peter and the Wolf and Pirate Show” which was a free symphony concert last May for the community. The council was still deciding if they would have an Aspen Winds concert for 2023.
There was an open discussion about updating their current mission statement and wanting it to reflect more of what they are doing. Board members voiced out loud ideas for the mission statement which included: “Create the presence of art in the community” and “Go out to the community and collaborate with artists.” “Art is all inclusive” and “Art allows different cultures to share” were ideas that are being considered for the new mission statement.
“Art is one thing that does not matter with age, religion, culture and is all inclusive and art is for everyone,” Garcia said.
The Arts Council is looking for additional board members. They would like to have 13 board members and encouraged the council members to look for recruitments from people they know in the community. “The applicant needs to have a background or interest in art to be a member,” Garcia said and added that any Cottonwood Heights resident can apply but the applicant would “go to the city council for final approval.”
The Arts Council meets once a month to plan activities and events in the city. One of the biggest opportunities is assisting with the summer musical.