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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.


2015 Executive Board

J Bisant - President
Ann Quinn - Vice President (General LAC): Visual artist
Katy Haas - Vice President (Gallery Operations): Visual artist
Warner Reeser - Treasurer: Visual Artist
Karen Hoff - Secretary: Visual artist

Members at Large

Charlie Casper: Graphic artist, musician
Katy Haas: Visual artist
Marcia Brill: Visual artist

Marjorie Walsh: Visual artist
Founder - Barbara Tobiska: Visual artist, teacher, arts organizer



Chair Position Open - Grants
Kay Alexander - Volunteer Coordinator
Ann Quinn - Membership
Ann Quinn - Fundraising

Staff Members

Barb Benik - Webmaster
Charlie Casper - Graphic Artist (Owner Lakewood Graphic Arts)

Other Important Stuff

Newsletter - Ann Quinn/Anya Grechka
Education Team: Barbara Tobiska, Ann Quinn
Gallery Managers: Katy Haas, Mike & Shirley Coen

Grants Committee

Shirley Coen
Warner Reeser

Fundraising Comittee

Barbara Tobiska
Ann Quinn
J Bisant
Shirley James
Shirley Coen
Mike Coen
Tracy Wilson
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. That facility served us well through the end of October, 2014.

Now, we are relocating to the Lamar Station Plaza (formerly JCRS) next to Casa Bonita. We will be opening soon, once the renovations have been completed. Lots of work to do, and we will need volunteers to help with cleaning, painting, sorting, and setting up. Stay tuned, and check back on our home page for regular updates.


Link to the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District in Denver, Colorado
Copyright 2015 Lakewood Arts Council
All Rights Reserved