In October 2010 a letter went out to the Castle Rock community: “Imagine if…. there was a community center for the performing and visual arts in …
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In October 2010 a letter went out to the Castle Rock community:
“Imagine if…. there was a community center for the performing and
visual arts in the Castle Rock area. Imagine if…. kids, parents,
seniors, everyone could be involved, learn and experience cultural
activities and events of all kinds right here in town. Imagine if….
you and everyone you know became involved in making this a
That letter and other materials invited recipients to an open
house on Nov. 21 in a proposed space, an empty steakhouse at 960 S.
Frontage Road, which was envisioned to hold space for theater
(Front Range Players) and Art Gallery (Greater Castle Rock Art
Guild) and more.
There are also 14 offices that could be individual studios
(three are spoken for already) and space for classes in art,
theater, music plus recitals, concerts and other events to be
developed. The owner, Ian Steyn had agreed to partner with arts
organizations to develop The Castle Rock Community Center for
Visual and Performing Arts — if they could generate community
Volunteer crews put in more than 100 hours cleaning, repairing,
painting to ready the building, formerly Duke’s Steakhouse, for the
open house and future multiple uses.
About 800 excited people showed up on Nov. 21 — many more than
anticipated (food shortage) — and the project was off and
A coalition board is being developed, according to Anne
McGhee-Stinson of Front Range Players (formerly Castle Rock
Players) and additional board members are sought. Interested?
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Budgets are being prepared that include profit sharing with the
Classes have started on weekends (watercolor with Pam Hostetler
just ran) and Bruce Workman, art guild president said they are
working to line up volunteers to keep the space open for additional
hours, starting with weekends.
A six-week photography class is in session, a mixed media
weekend is planned and Workman said there is talk of life drawing
sessions for those who already know how to draw, but will share a
model. He hopes to have a website for the center soon to post
classes, a wish list of items needed, such as better lighting for
the art and upcoming events.
An art show/fundraising event/dance, The Color Red, is planned
for 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 12. The community is invited. Tickets cost
$10. Tickets will be available through the Castle Rock Players
Chuck Wilson, president of the Douglas County Senior Foundation
appeared at the Castle Rock Town Council meeting inviting members
to The Color Red, explaining that arts groups had been searching
for a permanent home for 15 years. He said the longstanding Coyote
Creek Concert Series, sponsored by the Elbert County Arts
Association is one of many organizations that indicated interest in
this new performance venue.
A Douglas County High School visual arts student will serve on
the board, McGhee-Stinson said, adding that summer youth camps are
being planned, theater classes will begin in February and
rehearsals for “Of Mice and Men” have started, with a March show
date. There is room for 200 chairs and a stage.
The art guild has about 135 members at present — down a bit due
to the economy, Workman thinks. He works in pastels and hopes to
add watercolors to his repertoire. He recalls that Christmas
blizzard four years ago when everyone was snowed in. His teen aged
daughter had received a gift of pastels, which didn’t interest her,
but appealed to her father. He started painting, soon joined GCRAG
and is now its president and very involved in the new center.
McGhee-Stinson spoke enthusiastically of a volunteer recruited
through the November open house.
Barbara Arko brings years of experience with board development
in the arts, starting with the Denver Center for the Performing
Arts, where she started the Denver Center Alliance, directors
Society, Players support groups. She next worked with Central City
Opera as director of development and then with Food Bank of the
Rockies. She retired in 2008 and lives in Castle Rock with her
She signed up for GCRAG and received calls from Bruce Workman
and Anne McGhee Stinson. She went to see the December production of
“Education of Mr. Scrooge” and volunteered to help. “I know what is
needed, what leadership is needed,“ and will work behind the
scenes, she said.
“We can grow through art, come together. Art creates a
cohesion,” McGhee-Stinson said. “It’s a grassroots effort for
everyone to nurture.”
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