Jan 312005
Authors: Sara Crocker

Up coming arts events:

Late Night at Bas Bleu Theatre Company:

401 Pine St.

Thur. Feb. 3, 10:30-11:45 p.m.

MOCA: Faces in the Crowd 2005 Preview Reception

201 S. College Ave.

Fri. Feb. 4, 6-9 p.m.

Lincoln Center Performance Hall

Sat. Feb 5, 8-10:30 p.m.

Fort Collins Symphony

Orchestra Concert

8:00 PM – 10:30 PM

The stroke of a paintbrush, the sound of a chord from a cello and the bright lights of a stage have all contributed to the $9.3 million brought in each year to Fort Collins, according to a survey done by Americans for the Arts for Arts Alive Fort Collins.

Anne McDonald, the director for Arts Alive Fort Collins, said the city was part of a national survey released in 2002. The study surveyed nonprofit arts organizations and their patrons.

"They measured economic impact," McDonald said.

Jean Shoaff, the executive director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, 201 S. College Ave., said while not all patrons who support the arts may be purchasing art, they may stop somewhere else in the city and spend money.

"There's a lot of other related spending," Shoaff said. She noted that many people will go to dinner, have a drink or even buy a new outfit for the event they attend. "It really does impact the whole economic system."

Neal Tepaske, a senior art major, said he tries to attend the First Friday Gallery Walk every month, as well as smaller exhibitions at local places like the Alley Cat, 120 1/2 W. Laurel St. He generally will spend money elsewhere while he's downtown.

However, Tepaske said he prefers to patronize artistic places.

"Places with good art I'm more inclined to go to," Tepaske said. "I'd rather see original paintings than crap on the wall."

People are coming out to support the arts. MOCA has about 12,000 people visit their exhibits annually, Shoaff said.

"I think there's a lot of talent here and a lot of energy going into the arts," Shoaff said.

People are spending money directly on the arts as well. The survey also found people spent $5.4 million attending nonprofit arts events, not including admission.

McDonald said there are about 35 nonprofit arts organizations in the city, 20 of which took part in the survey. She said these organizations include the symphony as well as theaters and art galleries.

"We have a big art community here," McDonald said.

Matt Strauch, the box office manager of the Bas Bleu Theatre Company, 401 Pine St., agreed.

"People just want to come out and see the arts in Fort Collins because there's so much good stuff to see," Strauch said.

McDonald said she thinks Fort Collins has so much money spent on the arts because it is a college town with a high-income population. She said people who attend arts events generally have at least two years of college and disposable incomes.

She also noted many arts supporters come on a regular basis.

"When people go they usually go back a second time because the quality of the art is so good here," McDonald said.

McDonald said most of the people who attend arts events are usually 35 to 60 years old, and the majority of arts donors are 50 to 70. She said students do not regularly attend arts events outside CSU, but she would like to see more.

Strauch said students do attend the theater regularly.

"We do see a lot of college kids coming to our shows," Strauch said.

McDonald said she plans on applying for a grant to update the survey next year.

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