Guest editorial: Make Park City’s arts organizations a priority during year-end giving | ParkRecord.com

Guest editorial: Make Park City’s arts organizations a priority during year-end giving

Park City Summit County arts Council board and staff

The arts have the power to make us feel better. They bring us together, strengthening our relationship to the world around us. They help explore complex issues, introduce us to new ideas and people and push our boundaries. They drive our economy as a destination experience for visitors, and provide jobs for locals. They help prepare our students for the changing landscape of 21st century jobs. They are not only part of what makes it fun and beautiful to live and visit Park City, but are embedded in our core identity, history, and values.

They matter so much that the Park City Council has made the arts a top priority.

Despite the impact of the arts at the personal, community, and economic level, arts organizations often struggle to keep the lights on. Funding is reliant on the generosity of donors, patrons and sponsors. When these things don't meet expectations there can be catastrophic consequences.

In Summit County there are several public funding mechanisms for arts and culture, but they are restrictive and leave significant gaps in need. As quoted in the Project ABC Cultural Plan, "Substantial and strategic increases in funding are needed to ensure the long-term viability of Summit County's Arts and Culture sector." The plan outlines a number of strategic recommendations for diverse and sustainable funding to ensure a healthy and vibrant future for the arts and culture sector. There is much work to be done in this regard, and the Arts Council is committed to continuing to advocate for local artists, makers and nonprofit cultural organizations.

To that end, we ask you to consider our arts organizations for your year-end giving. These organizations work hard to provide you with exceptional and engaging experiences, and they are a critical part of making our community a healthier, more connected, inspired and economically viable destination. We must come together and do all we can to keep our arts and cultural assets alive and vibrant. That includes buying tickets, making donations and advocating for sustainable sources of funding from our local leaders.

There's so much opportunity this holiday season to give back to our arts organizations. Have family or friends in town? Bring them to the Park City Institute's National Geographic Live: Ocean Soul with Brian Skerry on Dec. 29, or ring in the new year with new traditions and attend the organization's New Year's Party with a special performance by Sutton Foster on the 31st. Immerse yourself in the creative process while bonding with your loved ones by taking one of the many family classes that the Kimball Art Center has in store over the holiday break including Snowscapes in Clay, or its new kid-friendly Noon Year's Eve Celebration.

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Feeling festive? Catch the Ballet West Academy Park City Campus performance of the The Park City Nutcracker at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts Dec. 22 at 2 p.m., or Christmas with the Celts Dec. 19-20 at the Egyptian Theatre. Mountain Town Music has programmed free performances all over town. The Alf Engen Ski Museum has just revamped and remodeled some of its exhibits. Park City Film screens holiday favorites and offers free movies for kids on school break. The list goes on.

We are privileged to live in a town with world renowned creative assets and programming. It's the Park City Summit County Arts Council's mission as an umbrella organization to promote, support, and strengthen arts and culture. We tell stories about local arts and culture activity, produce programs that connect artists and makers with the community, and plan and advocate for the future health of our creative sector.

We deeply believe the arts matter, and we hope you agree. As arts organizations ask for year-end contributions, please remember them, thank them and support them. They make our mountain town an incredible place to call home.