Tickets are now available for Darke County Center for the Arts’ awesome 2015-16 season, and you should secure yours now so that the dates get marked on your calendar and you don’t miss something wonderful. However, now is also time to make your annual DCCA membership contribution, and I urge you to consider taking this meaningful action as well.

Since its founding in 1978, Darke County Center for the Arts has provided a wealth of entertaining, culturally enriching events to our community; and from the very beginning, those who want to be a part of this cornucopia of delight have responded by supporting the organization with membership donations. Currently, all members earn a $2 discount on Coffee House Series tickets and discounts on dinner at Fairlawn Steakhouse and The Bistro Off Broadway prior to Saturday performances. Membership donations of $275 and above also receive two complimentary tickets to the entire Artists Series season as well as an invitation to a special appreciation celebration. Those are great incentives; but most members join DCCA because they understand the importance of the arts’ contribution to a vibrant community, and they want to see that vibrancy continue in their neighborhood.

In the early days, DCCA membership was viewed as prestigious; people joined not only because they believed in the organization and its mission but also because it was the thing to do. I fondly remember my daughter’s beloved piano teacher reacting in horror when she discovered that her membership was not listed in the DCCA program. “What will people think if my name is not there!” she worried. The oversight was quickly remedied, and her name joined the ranks of other arts supporters on the DCCA rolls. But even more important than serving as a visible symbol of support, those membership donations are truly vital to DCCA’s ability to function.

Contrary to public opinion, ticket sales do not usually cover production costs at any venue. Most presenting organizations count on ticket revenue to cover about a quarter of the expense for a show. In DCCA’s case, local sponsoring individuals, organizations, businesses and foundations contribute about a third of the money needed to cover expenses, and DCCA also receives assistance from the state agency that funds the arts, the Ohio Arts Council. But, in spite of the fact that DCCA officials keep administrative expenses exceedingly low, all of that support does not reach the total needed for DCCA to continue bringing high quality performing artists to our rural community. Frankly, without the generosity of members, DCCA simply could not survive.

Some members support DCCA to assure that they will continue to see excellent artists at a reasonable cost without traveling outside their home community. Others strongly believe in the power of the arts to build strong families and communities by providing positive experiences that help people grow together. Tickets for DCCA’s Family Theatre Series have remained at the amazingly low price of $5 for many years, and DCCA’s Arts In Education program brings outstanding artists to perform for students in every grade level in each school district in the county at no cost to the students. Both of those remarkable achievements are only possible because of the generosity of members who believe in the worth of the arts. The fact that the arts are basic to education, developing youngsters/ creative abilities and helping children achieve also provides motivation for membership.

So, buy your DCCA tickets now in order to see incredibly talented performers right here in Darke County. But if you want our community to continue to benefit from the joy, delight, and inspiration delivered by DCCA, make a membership donation as well. Contact DCCA at 937-547-0908 or [email protected] to become a part of something wonderful!

Something wonderful

By Marilyn Delk

Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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