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Lakewood's City Council Honors the Lakewood Arts Council


The Lakewood City Council proclaimed Monday, July 8, 2013 as Lakewood Arts Council Day during the regular Council meeting at City Council Chambers. Mayor Bob Murphy presented the proclamation to the Lakewood Arts Council President Barbara Benik. Other LAC Board members in attendance were Christina Taylor and Warner Reeser.


The Lakewood Arts Council thanks the City of Lakewood for this honor and recognition of our arts contribution to the residents of our community.


The Lakewood Arts Council is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to serving the community by promoting and supporting the arts in Lakewood and the surrounding area. Founded in 1988, LAC encompasses all the arts: theatre, music, dance, visual arts and literature. We provide numerous events, performances, exhibits, concerts, workshops and special programs at reasonable rates for all. We assist other arts groups in their formation and in the promotion of their activities. We hire performers from LAC membership, in addition to outside talent, and we underwrite as many visual art exhibits as possible to allow our members to show their talents. We work from a strong volunteer base and depend on grants and membership dues to conduct our business. Thanks to Barbara Tobiska for starting it all!

Our 3-5 year plan provides guidance to our operation and growth. We are excited about the future of our wonderful organization. You may view the Long Range Plan by clicking HERE.



2014 Executive Board

Barbara Benik - President: Visual artist, musician
Ann Quinn - Vice President: Visual artist
Loraine Miller - Treasurer: Artist, teacher
Karen Hoff - Secretary: Visual artist
Founder - Barbara Tobiska: Visual artist, teacher, arts organizer

Members at Large

Charlie Casper: Graphic artist, musician
Warner Reeser: Visual artist
Katy Haas: Visual artist
Marcia Brill: Visual artist
Anita Lamprell: Visual artist
J Bisant: Visual artist
Marjorie Walsh: Visual artist


Barbara Tobiska - Grants
Kay Alexander - Volunteer Coordinator
Ann Quinn - Membership
Barb Benik/Ann Quinn - Fundraising

Staff Members

Barb Benik - Bookkeeper, Webmaster
Lynnette Kupferer - Treasurer's Assistant
Gail Firmin- Marketing & Outreach
Melinda Fiscus - Events Coordinator
Charlie Casper - Graphic Artist (Owner Lakewood Graphic Arts)

Other Important Stuff

Editor - Focus on the Arts - Ann Quinn
Education Team: Barbara Tobiska, Ann Quinn
Gallery Managers: Katy Haas, Anita Lamprell

Grants Committee

Barbara Tobiska
Barbara Benik
Shirley Coen
Warner Reeser

Fundraising Comittee

Barbara Tobiska
Barbara Benik
Ann Quinn
J. Bisant
Shirley James
Shirley Coen
Mike Coen
Anita Lamprell
Lissa Barr
Tracy Wilson
Katy Haas
Charlie Casper



A History of How the Lakewood Arts Council Began

March, 1979:
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."

February, 1985:
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 arts issues.

Summer, 1987:
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.

September-December, 1987:
An eight person committee from varied arts interests met as the Task Force for the Lakewood Arts Council to:

Select a name, geographical identity
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
AppointBy-Laws committee
Notify Mayor Shaw of their accomplishments and proposals for ensuing months

January-June, 1988:
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) and staff
Worked with and acquired support of Colorado Council on the Arts
Held membership drive, developed programs, Focus newsletter

June, 1988:
Designated by the City Council as the official arts organization of Lakewood.

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.


Link to the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District in Denver, Colorado
Copyright 2014 Lakewood Arts Council
All Rights Reserved