Durango Arts Center
The Barbara Conrad Gallery and Art Library is open Tuesday–Saturday, 10am–5pm. DAC administrative offices are open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. To learn more about DAC events, visit our calendar here.
The Durango Arts Center is a nonprofit visual and performing arts organization located in Southwest Colorado that enriches the community through innovative visual and performing art, and arts education. DAC advances appreciation and participation in the arts as a cultural leader in the region. Annually, DAC coordinates over 80 community events, such as exhibit receptions, theatre performances, artist lectures, film screenings and the region’s largest outdoor fine arts and fine craft showcase, the Durango Autumn Arts Festival, which welcomes over 7,000 guests to downtown Durango. The exhibits and artist services programs engage over 500 artists annually, and DAC Education enrolls an average of 1,300 children, youth and adults in a diversity of workshops and camps. DAC Theatre presents 4-5 professional productions and 6 children’s productions to over 5,000 patrons, and the theater serves as a venue to over 60 organizations and business events each year. Learn more about our programs, services and events at www.durangoarts.org.
// THEATRE //
The goal of the Durango Arts Center Theatre program is to move and inspire audiences and actors by joining the forces of creativity, collaboration and community. DAC presents 4-5 major productions annually: a collaborative adult contemporary play, summer musical theatre spectacular, a 10-Minute Play Festival and family holiday show, featuring students from the DAC Applause! performing art program. Beloved productions, lessor-known compelling dramas, inventive works by emerging play-writes and family theatre combine for a season that entertains, challenges and represents the best in local talent (including children, youth and adults). The DAC Applause! youth theatre program also presents 6 family shows, including a kids' follies event during the annual Snowdown Festival.
DAC theatre is recognized for well-acted, quality productions paired with well-crafted messages rich with artistic merit. In the true spirit of community theatre, DAC offers a place for everyone - behind the scenes, in front of the floodlights or in the audience.
// EXHIBITS //
The Durango Arts Center contemporary arts program includes exhibits by local, regional and national artists. The Barbara Conrad Gallery, Art Library and the lobby Entrada Gallery exhibit spaces generate high levels of engagement among the artistic community and general public through 24-26 exhibits per year. The exhibits program includes coordination of related educational programming, such as artist lectures, film screenings and workshops to cultivate creative dialogue about larger issues in contemporary art practices.
On the second floor of DAC, the Friends of the Art Library (FOAL) Gallery provides additional exhibit space presenting smaller, yet equally dynamic works. Curated by six working artists (who volunteer their time), the FOAL exhibits include artists' books, calligraphy, printmaking, photography, installation, mixed-media and ceramics. Year-round, the Art Library is a valuable resource for art books, periodicals and other media gifted by generous donors, accessible to DAC members and the general public.
In 2016, DAC was pleased to welcome 8,320 visitors to the Barbara Conrad Gallery, an increase in visitation from 2015. 1,863 emerging, professional and student artists were represented in the galleries, and 57 adults enrolled in six workshops hosted in conjunction with the exhibits program.
// EDUCATION //
DAC offers year-round education programs in the visual and performing arts, featuring summer camps, specialized adult workshops and after school art programs. Whether engaging with professional artists in the DAC Education Studio or reaching out to local schools to strengthen arts in the classroom, DAC aspires to cultivate creativity in learners of all ages and abilities.
DAC Docent Program: an all-volunteer group that offers tours of gallery exhibits for adults and children and the Art in the School Program for elementary school children and other groups in the community. DAC also offers docent-led gallery tours and docent-led hands-on art activities for school groups.
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by Alex Gulsby