In order to achieve its goal to present and promote the arts and encourage cultural enrichment, Darke County Center for the Arts brings outstanding artists to our community who perform at local venues for an extremely reasonable ticket price. DCCA’s ability to perform this difficult feat is made possible by the support of businesses, organizations, and individual sponsors, and aided by membership fees, but an overriding factor in the continued success of the arts presenter now celebrating its 40th anniversary is the aid provided by the state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically – the Ohio Arts Council.
Highlights of DCCA’s Ruby Anniversary season include tonight’s performance at The Bistro Off Broadway by Lisa Biales and her quintet, as well as one of the main attractions at DCCA’s upcoming “Irish Wave” fundraiser on March 15, Celtic ensemble Lone Raven, and the season-ending crown jewel of DCCA’s Artists Series presentations, Toledo Symphony Orchestra’s “A Ruby Celebration” on May 11. Each of those performances is underwritten by an Ohio Artists on Tour grant.
This wonderful program enables Ohio organizations to tap into the amazing potential of the talented artists who contribute so much to the quality of life and creative economy of the state. Quite frankly, without the funds provided by Ohio Artists on Tour, DCCA could not on a regular basis bring the dozens of skilled musicians who play with Toledo Symphony Orchestra to perform in acoustically perfect St. Clair Memorial Hall, one of only two Ohio orchestras on the Ohio Arts Council’s list of artists (the other being the Cleveland Pops, which even with OAC funding is pretty much out of DCCA’s reach).
Artists chosen for OAC’s list must demonstrate excellence in artistic abilities, as well as skills in managing their professional duties and commitments; artistic disciplines include dance, music, and theater. When DCCA Executive Director Andrea Jordan writes her grant request, she must include basic information (date of performance(s), description of outreach activity, and artists fees), which is then reviewed by OAC officials; if her proposal meets muster, DCCA is then awarded one-third of the amount demanded by the artist, lopping a huge chunk off the total required to bring the performer to Darke County.
The Ohio Arts Council was created in 1965 to foster and encourage the development of the arts and assist the preservation of Ohio’s cultural heritage, goals accomplished by funding programs that support artists while making arts activities available to a broad segment of Ohio citizens, and by providing services that enhance growth of the arts. A basic tenet behind the OAC’s establishment was to support and encourage the public, individual, and organizational efforts from which the arts arise.
At one time OAC’s Mission Statement stated that the purpose of the agency was to preserve the past, enhance the present, and enrich the future. By making it possible for members of our community to have access to transcendent artistic experiences at a reasonable cost, the Ohio Arts Council meets those basic yet hard to attain goals for the benefit of all.
Marilyn Delk is the former executive director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.