The Durango Arts Center (DAC) is a multi-faceted nonprofit arts organization that has served Durango and surrounding communities for over 50 years. Since its inception, DAC has served as a resource to all people with an interest in the arts and has committed itself to creating and promoting regional visual and performing arts and arts education under one roof. Over the years, DAC has built its reputation as a local arts industry leader and has been working diligently to ensure that the arts continue to thrive in the region.
DAC provides Durango and surrounding communities’ opportunities to create, to promote and to participate in diverse arts experiences through in-house educational art programs, exhibits and performing art. DAC is supported largely through memberships and donations and offers a variety of volunteer opportunities as well as promotional outlets for member artists.
The Durango Arts Center provides Durango and surrounding communities opportunities to create, to promote, and to participate in diverse arts experiences. The DAC brings people together to explore and engage in arts and culture by fostering creative expression through in-house exhibitions, performances, and educational programs for all ages and abilities.
The DAC strives to support a creative dialogue among community members, ensuring that culture informs local decision-making and enriches our lives.
Fast Facts About DAC
- DAC is the only visual and performing nonprofit arts organization in the Four Corners region. We serve the population of the 150-mile radius of Durango, CO that includes four states, nine counties, 18 school districts in 25 municipalities.
- DAC receives NO public funding from the City of Durango or La Plata County; therefore, the entire budget for programs, salaries, and facilities must be generated from fundraising efforts of board and staff, comprised of membership dues, foundation grants, corporate sponsors and generous donors.
- By the end of 2014, DAC expects to serve 38,000 total visitors and participants in our programs. In particular, DAC expects engagement to increase in arts education from 600 youth and 150 adults served in 2013, to more than 700 youth and 200 adults in 2014.
- DAC is a major contributor to our own local creative economy. From May 2013-May 2014, DAC paid out $86,136 to teachers, performing artists and presenters, and wrote $27,597 in commission checks to artists for artwork sold. In spring 2014, DAC launched MicroGrants to provide emerging and established artists small but impacting funds towards furthering their work, distributing $5000 in 10 grants this year.
- Over the course of DAC’s 40+ year history as a nonprofit, we have received enthusiastic recognition for contributions to the community and program content and quality, including “Non-Profit of the Year” delivered by the Chamber of Commerce in 2012, and the 2013 Durango Herald Reader’s Choice award for “Best Live Theatre.”
Since 1973, the Durango Arts Center (DAC) has worked to promote the exploration, education, enrichment and enjoyment of the arts as a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization. What is affectionately known throughout the Four Corners as “DAC,” actually has a founding history rich in the support and development of the arts in the Four Corners area that reaches back more than 50 years. The DAC is the result of a confluence of two agencies – the Durango Fine Arts Council (DFAC) and the Durango Artists Association (DAA) – both created in the 1960’s to develop and promote regional activity and interest in the arts, including fine arts and cultural activities.
- In 1982 the DAA and DFAC merged to operate under the name of the DFAC.
- In 1991, the DFAC Board of Directors reincorporated as the Durango Arts Center (DAC), folding each founding organization’s values and vision into one “hub” for creative cultural innovation in the Four Corners. Since its inception, DAC has served as a resource to all people with an interest in the arts, and has committed itself to creating and promoting regional visual arts, theater, dance, live music, education programs and art workshops all under one roof. Over the years, DAC has built its reputation as a local arts industry leader and has been working diligently to ensure that the arts continue to thrive in the region.
- In 1997, the community collaborated to fund and renovate a 17,000-square-foot building that once existed as a car dealership in downtown Durango, at the corner of East 2nd Ave and 8th Street. The space is now home to a gallery, theater, arts library, studio space and more.
Economic Impact of the Arts
From 2010-2012, DAC participated in a national longitudinal study on the economic impact of the arts on communities. The study–Arts & Economic Prosperity IV–was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading advocacy group for arts and arts education. In the city of Durango, 15 of the approximately 22 total eligible nonprofit arts and culture organizations identified by the survey team participated in this study—an overall participation rate of 68 percent. The organizations that participated are listed below:
3rd Avenue Arts; Center for Southwest Studies; City of Durango – Public Arts Commission; Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College; Del Alma; Durango Arts Center; Durango Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Chorus; Durango Discovery Museum; Durango Independent Film Festival; Durango Heritage Celebration; Durango Lively Arts Company; Fort Lewis College Department of Theatre Performance Season; La Plata County Historical Society (Animas Museum); Music in the Mountains; and San Juan Symphony.
Key results of the AE IV Durango study:
- The Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study provides compelling new evidence that the nonprofit arts and culture are a $9.1 million industry in the City of Durango—one that supports 309 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $645,000 in local and state government revenue.
- Nonprofit arts and culture organizations, which spend $5.8 million each year, leverage a remarkable $3.2 million in additional spending by arts and culture audiences—spending that pumps vital revenue into local restaurants, hotels, retail stores, parking garages, and other businesses.
View both the Durango summary sheet and national 2012 Arts & Economic Prosperity IV reports:
A proud member of the Durango Chamber of Commerce since 1989.