Three of the Idaho Falls Arts Council’s past and present chairmen are challenging the council to raise $10,000 in new or increased memberships by June 30th. Steve & Cindy Carr, Tracy & Eric Hoart, and Sharon & Park Price have agreed to match the amount raised, up to the challenge amount.
“We want everyone to have the opportunity to play a small role in a piece of all the big things we get to do,” said IFAC Executive Director Brandi Newton. “Membership is critical to what we do and I think it provides that connection back to who we are as an arts council. We want to be a value to you and our community.”
As a non-profit organization, Newton said the council relies on memberships and donations to continue its many programs. In recent years, the council has focused on providing art experience to the entire community, especially youth. Last year, the arts council raised thousands to build the ARTitorium on Broadway. In addition, memberships also helped provide free or discounted art opportunities for kids and schools, foster local art and artists, and upkeep the historical Colonial Theater.
“It is really our mission to spark that creativity within the youth and provide them another avenue to express themselves that maybe they otherwise don’t get to have either through traditional education programs or daily life,” said Newton.
Although the council works to make art available to school age students, it also focuses on the Idaho Falls community as a whole.
“Every season there is something for everyone,” said IFAC Board Chairman Sharon Price. “We try hard to overcome that perception (that art is only for the select few) because art is for everyone and we try to do a good job of promoting art and making sure everyone is involved.”
In recent years, the Colonial Theater became a bigger part of the art community. Opened in 1919, the theater fell on hard times and closed in the 1980s. The council launched a capital campaign, known as the Phantom project.Through that project, the council was able to raise 4.2 million dollars to renovate the theater. Since the renovation, the theater has showcased many tribute shows and plays. In 2014 alone, the Colonial Theater played host to over 25,000 patrons.
“People often don’t realize how much every donation helps, no matter how small, and we are so grateful that right now, we can make those dollars do twice the work,” said Newton
Membership also comes with benefits, including: discounts on tickets, ARTitorium admission, and gallery purchases, as well as season ticket pre-sale privileges and ticket exchange privileges.