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Arts Commission launches new website

A newly designed website for the Arts Commission of Danville-Boyle County has gone live as of today, and the commission’s director said it has been one “ambitious project.”

The website will highlight the enhanced, ongoing working relationships the commission has with local partners — including the Boyle County Public Library, Pieceable Friends Quilt Guild, ASAP, Gathering Artists, Plein Air Artists, all local schools and Scarlet Cup Theatre, among many others.

“The Arts Commission’s primary goal is the support of the arts, artists and arts organizations throughout the community,” said Mimi Becker, director. “This goal has led the organization to expand its own sponsored activities, but more importantly, to seek partnerships with other community programs with common goals.”

Becker said the site features a more flexible events calendar, which will highlight upcoming events on the home page for quick reference, and include more available options to contact the commission.

“Suggestions and comments are always welcome, as well,” Becker said. Links will be provided directing visitors to articles and columns Becker has written for The Advocate-Messenger, as well as other featured articles.

New partnership

One of the most exciting functions of the site, Becker said, is the ticket service offered. “With Scarlet Cup Theatre joining the Arts Commission under fiscal sponsorship, the board wanted to offer the theater an economical and flexible option for ticket sales.” Tickets are already being sold for Scarlet Cup’s next performance in October, “Departures,” which will be performed at Stuart Powell Airfield.

Liz Orndorff, president of Scarlet Cup’s board, said it previously was included under the Community Arts Center’s umbrella of fiscal sponsorship, but that changed in March of this year.

“We received a letter from the Arts Center, which was highly complimentary of the work of the theatre, but said the Community Arts Center’s board came to a consensus it was not in the best interests of ‘either organization to merge Scarlet Cup’ into the Arts Center’s programming structure,” Orndorff said. “We are very grateful for the Community Arts Center to have been our fiscal sponsor for the first three years we existed. We couldn’t have existed without their help.”

Orndorff said Becker and the Arts Commission have been very enthusiastic about the new partnership, which began in May. “Mimi did all of her homework about how this relationship will work immediately, figuring out how to help us sell tickets on their new site. Everything she’s doing is helping Scarlet Cup exist, and exist better.”

Orndorff said she and the rest of the board of the theatre feels the Arts Commission “was the natural one to go to. It totally fits their mission, to bring as much art to as many people in Boyle County.”

Becker said the commission is more than pleased to have Scarlet Cup as a part of its organization.

“A fiscal sponsorship relationship gives all the benefits of a non-profit status to small organizations,” she said. As fiscal sponsor, the Arts Commission provides to the public and donors “the assurance that the organization is fiscally sound and uses donated funds for the intended purpose. The sponsored organization can apply for grants and receive donations.”

Becker said the Arts Commission’s mission states that it is supportive of new and innovative arts concepts, and “Scarlet Cup Theatre is just that.”

“We also support arts and business partnerships and the combination of theater and unusual venues is quite innovative, especially in a small town,” Becker said. “We are looking forward to the upcoming production at the airport. Rob Caldwell, the airport board and the staff have been truly amazing to work with.”

Becker said the ticket service on the commission’s site will also be used by the Danville-Boyle County Scholarship Foundation for their December fundraiser, which will be co-sponsored by the Arts Commission. That event will bring local, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Larnelle Harris back home for a holiday concert on Dec. 16, for example.

“This has been an enormous project for me, and I can’t believe it is where it is,” Becker said. Her sister was the developer and “babysitter” for the redesign, she said, who is a retired owner of a digital product development services company.

“I’m extremely happy with the turnout,” Becker said.

Sneak peek

“Departures” is a British comedy — the first comedy offered by Scarlet Cup. Orndorff said it’s set in 10 different airports around the world, so the lobby of the Boyle airport is perfect.

“The airport staff really wanted us to come out there and do the play, and it will be such a cool thing. Hopefully more people will come out to see it, because I don’t think that many people really go out there.”

She said a real-life radio will continue broadcasting flight information and communications during the production, as well as anyone who lands during the play will walk through it in the lobby. Four actors will portray eight different characters; the play will be presented in a series of vignettes. The play is directed by Tony Haigh, vice president of Scarlet Cup’s board.

SO YOU KNOW

• Visit the redesigned Arts Commission website at danvillearts.org.

• “Departures” will be presented at the Stuart Powell Airfield on Oct. 4-7 and 11-14. Check back to read more about this Scarlet Cup production.