2016 Arts & Culture Block Grant Recipients2017-10-11T23:20:24+00:00

2016 Block Grant Recipients

The Animas Museum / La Plata County Historical Society

The Animas Museum is utilizing City of Durango Block Grant funds to reinterpret their Native American Arts and Culture Gallery.  Specifically, in the research, design and printing of new interpretive exhibit panels to modernize and enhance the display.  These panels will explore Native American arts and culture in Durango from the Basketmaker II Period through the Historic Period, covering Ancestral Puebloan and Ute tribes. A portion of the funds are being used to hire consultant(s) to aid with interpretation and to provide their expertise to the visual presentation of the gallery.  This redesign is expected to be completed by December 31, 2016.

Dumpster Beautification Project

The Dumpster Beautification Project (DBP) will design and print new promotional materials (i.e., brochure) to increase community awareness and engagement of the organization.   Along with promotion and marketing, DBP has been  actively diversifying its audience and volunteer base this year through workshops in local schools, collaborations with nonprofit community service and arts organizations, including the 6th Judicial District-Useful Public service, DeNier Center, La Plata Youth Services, SOS Outreach and the Durango Arts Center among others.  These outreach workshops will help bring greater understanding to how a community benefits from public art.  DBP is expected to submit a final report of impact for disbursement of their Block Grant funds by December 31, 2016.

Durango Barbershoppers / Narrow Gauge Chorus

The Durango Barbershoppers utilized its grant to purchase copyrighted sheet music from its headquarters, the Barbershop Harmony Society, 18,000+ members-strong, based in Nashville for their biggest show of the year. Copyright fees and original sheet music represent a significant expense for the Barbershoppers since they owe it to the public to vary their repertoire from year to year. 

Durango Bluegrass Meltdown

April 15-17, 2016 // Read about this year’s Meltdown

The 3-day Durango Bluegrass Meltdown occurs every year in April, when the streets and merchants of Durango would normally be basically dead. This happy festival brings over a thousand folks into town to fill the restaurants, hotels, and shops. While the Meltdown brings highest quality national acts to Durango, they also feature our many talented regional and local bands.  Besides the many ticketed main stage events, a piece of our mission is to share part of this festival with the public for free. The Meltdown has one of the largest “Bluegrass in the Schools” programs offered in the region, and it continues to expand. And it is FREE!  They provide respected bluegrass bands and professional sound to Durango High School and at least 11 other schools each year, last year reaching more than 1600 children who love every minute of it. Kids under 12 also attend the festival free of charge.

Durango Choral Society

Transcendence, Durango Choral Society’s (DCC) 2015-2016 season, concluded this fall with numerous highlights, including a national Alice Parker Award from Chorus America/American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers for Adventurous Programming for our collaboration with the Telluride Choral Society. This highly competitive accolade is bestowed by the most prestigious professional organization in the field of choral music, recognizing DCS’ accomplishment in presenting a recently composed piece that expands the mission of the chorus and challenges the chorus’ audience in new ways.  For DCS, the award signifies progress in both artistic merit and goal of enhanced collaboration, and they are proud to represent Durango nationally.  

DCS concluded a two-year, award-winning collaboration with the Telluride Choral Society, culminating in the premier of a composition by Telluride’s late artistic director, David Lingle. The work blends the traditional requiem format with Southwestern influences, overlaying ancient texts with indigenous chant, rhythm and orchestration. The Telluride Choral Society joined the Durango Choral Society for two concerts—one each in Durango and Telluride—featuring 91 performers and a 21-piece orchestra.  

The growth of the new Durango Youth Chorus (DYC), which doubled in size this year, is another indicator of success under the Arts & Culture Block Grant funding. Through promotion and program development, the youth chorus expanded its educational impact made possible by city support.  So much so, that the DCC and DYC have been invited to Carnegie Hall in spring of 2017.

Durango Film

March 2-6, 2016 // Read about the 2016 Festival

The film festival brings the diverse and creative voice of the independent filmmaker in a 5-day film festival in March each year, filling an average of 5,000 seats. Because Q&A sessions with filmmakers in the theater, workshops, panel discussions, and most parties and events are free, interaction and discussion between filmmakers and attendees is facilitated. We offer minimal in-kind supported lodging and no travel to independent filmmakers, who often are unable to pay for their travel or stay a short time due to lack of funds. Filmmakers are essential to the film festival experience and impact, and so DFI is requesting assistance in bringing them to the 2016 film festival. All films have subjects that touch on art, politics, the environment, culture, tolerance, and diversity. Our Native Cinema program grows stronger each year. In addition to the program presented to local schools, DFI hosts a family program for children and their parents. With ten festivals now completed, DFI had a total of 343 attending filmmakers, showed 21 films that were either Oscar-winning movies or nominees, and brought films from 77 foreign countries to our audiences.  peers.  The festival is held during the non-peak tourist season to help boost the local economy. To fill a need for independent and diverse films in the community, DFI presented its inaugural 5-day independent film festival in March 2006, and we recently completed our 10th anniversary festival. Festival week is an amazing week that builds community, fires the collective imagination, and provokes new ideas and ways of thinking.

Merely Players Theatre Company

April 29, 30 and May 5, 6 & 7 at 7:00pm
April 30 and May 7 & 8 at 1:00pm

Merely Players has always had a strong educational component.  Typically, “educational” connotes youth education. But we are committed to include adults when teaching theatre skills. Too often adults are neglected in teaching programs. Shrek the Musical will provide an excellent opportunity for both youth and adults to gather new theatrical skills and to hone skills that they already possess. Combining youth and adults together into a production is unique to Merely Players.

San Juan Symphony

Read about SJS Youth Orchestra’s 11-year old soloist

The San Juan Symphony received grant funds in support of its Youth Education Program, which features six meaningful opportunities that expose youth to the symphony experience and enhance their music education:

1. San Juan Symphony Youth Orchestras (K through College)

2. Side-by-Side Concerts

3. Guest artist classroom visits

4. Guest artist master classes

5. Meet-a-Musician

6. Subsidized student tickets to all concerts

The San Juan Symphony has developed and nurtured an excellent education program for youth in the Four Corners area. We touch up to 3,000 students each year through our music education opportunities. The SJS Youth Orchestra (SJSYO) program is the only one of its kind in the region. We offer a consistent (weekly) full orchestral experience for the area’s young musicians of all ages.

Stillwater Music

6th Annual Party in the Park
May 21, 12-5:30pm
Buckley Park, Durango

Stillwater received grant support for its 6th Annual Party in the Park, held in late May in Buckley Park.  This annual community-building event at Buckley Park is designed to support La Plata County residents, especially families, in learning about the numerous programs and activities for kids offered in our area – summer and year-round. Stillwater Music youth ensembles, as well as performers from area youth arts organizations, provide live entertainment throughout the day, which is entirely free to the public.  A wide variety of area businesses and nonprofit organizations host exhibitor booths to showcase their programs for youth. Hands-on activities for kids are a highlight in exhibitor booths.  

All Stillwater youth ensembles that perform at the Party in the Park are led by working professional musicians who dedicate a significant portion of their time to education.  Stillwater faculty perform regularly in such groups as the High Rollers, Sky Pilot, Durango Funk All Stars, Kirk James Blues Band, 20 Moons Dance Theater and the Southwest Civic Winds.  With free admission and a focus on kids, the Party in the Park draws families from all socioeconomic backgrounds. It offers families the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of area youth program offerings, including sports, marital arts, dance, outdoor experience, music, visual art, theater, crafts and community service.