Welcome back, Glenwood arts. The city-operated Glenwood Springs Community Art Center, housed at 601 East 6th Street in the same location of the former Center for the Arts, is open and ready for students to once again fill its space with creative energy. This spring, dance and martial arts classes are on offer alongside kids' art lessons, weekly senior art afternoons, a Monday mosaic group, a full lineup of ceramics classes, and more.
When the center ceased offering classes in 2017 amid the financial struggles of its operating organization and widely-publicized exit of its director, local residents were not only shocked but saddened by the sudden loss of the town’s most active arts hub. If it closed for good, they wondered, where would Glenwood’s kids learn to dance? Where would budding young creatives develop their talents, or adults gather to engage with the local arts community?
Although the Glenwood Springs Arts Council that had run the center for years vowed to repay its debts and find ways to continue serving the community, they ultimately moved out of the 6th Street space. Without any guiding force of leadership, its fate seemed unclear. The city, recognizing the center’s cherished role in local life, took quick action: In the fall of 2017 it formed a brand new Arts and Culture Board to help advise officials on the future of the arts in Glenwood. By early 2018, safety upgrades to the historic 6th Street building (which was already city-owned) took place and discussions began about how to bring the center back to life.
“The city of Glenwood understood that having an arts center in town is valuable to people who live here and visit here,” says Community Recreation Coordinator Tom Schwenk, who oversees programming for the newly re-named Community Art Center. “It is now funded by the Parks and Recreation Department, and we’re working with several teachers and leaders to continue building on the classes we’re hoping to offer this year.”
Although the center held a limited number of classes in summer and fall of 2018, the full spring 2019 lineup of programs cements its status as back in the swing of things. All it needs now, Schwenk notes, are the students.
“We’re really working to get the word out that the center is open again, and that we’re ready for people to sign up for classes,” he says. Locals can research class topics, schedules, and registration details via the Parks and Recreation website, GlenwoodRec.com. Events are also posted on Facebook, such as the center’s Open House on February 2. From 12-3 p.m., the public is invited to stop by, see the revitalized space, and meet its instructors over refreshments, entertainment, and free mini-lessons.
“We hope this will be a great way for the community to learn about what we’re doing,” Schwenk adds. “The arts center is back.”
Spring 2019 Class Highlights
“Master the Masters” painting classes for all ages/abilities. Teacher Liz Waters guides students in the techniques of famous artists on second Saturdays through May from 2:30-5:30 p.m. $25 per canvas.
“Youth Tap and Ballet” with ArtillumA Dance Company. Wednesdays through May 15 from 2:45-3:45 p.m. for ages 3-7. $50/month.
“Hand Building and Sculpting” guided studio time for clay students ages 13+. Tuesdays through April 30 from 6-8:30 p.m. $16/class.
“After-School Art Club” for ages 7-18. Mondays from 4-5:30 p.m. $10/class.