History of How the Lakewood Arts Council Began
Community member Charles Stanton reserved two acres of property
for a cultural center for the City of Lakewood and gave $10,000
in support of the project. The land reservation ceased Jan. 1, 1987
and returned to the Stantons.
1981 - 1983:
Citizen groups became involved in ideas for the development of the
Stanton property. A cultural facility remained a part of this "dream."
The City Council, under
Mayor Bill Reitler, passed a Resolution (#83-64), appointing members
to City of Lakewood Cultural Arts Citizen's Advisory Committee.
This group spent one year in research and identification of Lakewood's
Cultural needs and produced the document entitled "A Cultural
Arts Center: Steps Toward Lakewood's Future."
The citizens' study was followed by the Scientific Economics Research
Associates publication entitled "A Feasibility Study for a
Community Center in Lakewood, CO." This study was financed
by the City of Lakewood at $85,000. It was determined that Lakewood
had strong separate and scattered arts individuals and groups but
lacked a coordination and "voice" knowledgeable on larger
Mayor Linda Shaw requested through Sherry Krasno of the City's
Community Resources Department and Barbara Tobiska, long-involved
committee volunteer, to search out options for creating an arts
group to serve the multiple needs. Meeting space and limited mailing
privileges were provided. A request was made for an action report
at the end of 90 days.
An eight person committee from varied arts interests met as the
Task Force for the Lakewood Arts Council to:
Select a name, geographical
Research arts organizations
Select purposes; goals; the private, 501-C non-profit status; and
desire for affiliation with City of Lakewood
Seek legal assistance with Lawyers for the Arts
Notify Mayor Shaw of their accomplishments and proposals for ensuing
By-laws were written and adopted
Articles of Incorporation were written & application to State
made and finalized in 3/88
Cooperative agreement between City of Lakewood and Lakewood Arts
Council, Inc. was made and agreed to.
Acquired support of Gary McDonnell (Dept. of Community Resources)
Worked with and acquired support of Colorado Council on the Arts
Held membership drive, developed programs, Focus newsletter
Designated by the City Council as the official arts organization
From that time forward,
our group has gradually grown in multiple areas: exhibits, performances
and concerts, literary programs, special events and projects, co-sponsorships
with many other art and community groups,grants received, membership
and volunteerism, marketing, prestige, political expertise, etc.
We opened our own facility, the South Union Gallery (which has become
Lakewood Arts Council's Community Art Center and Gallery. Our facility
serves as a place for the community to gather to learn about and
to enjoy all the arts. It serves as the LAC's office, is a co-op
gallery for member artists, has a community rental wall to serve
local artists, includes a secondary gallery - the Loft - which holds
juried and rental art shows, has a classroom for art classes and
meeting space. Over the years, we have learned to accomplish a lot
while always keeping a sense of fun, community service, and friendship.