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Truckee arts growing up

Truckees arts and culture advisory committee has adopted a new name and is striving to become a leading resource within the local arts community. The newly named Arts and Culture Council of Truckee Tahoe came together in November, and now is streamlining its goals to gain credibility as an advocate for the arts in Truckee.When the group first assembled, long-time Truckee resident Rich Valentine said some town citizens expressed concern they might be considered just a bunch of artists lacking a clear direction. But after receiving a $3,000 grant from the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation, the seven-member committee is working to nail down some of its main ideas and focus on further fundraising, said the councils Elizabeth Archer, who is the artistic director of InnerRhythms Dance Theatre. Many area residents identified a performing arts venue as one of the communitys greatest needs, according to a Truckee Donner Recreation & Park District survey. And pursuing a venue is one of the committees top priorities. However, the Arts and Culture Councils members have taken a step back from their support for the performing arts theater project that is included in the districts plans for the new community center, Archer said.The committee believed that what the Truckee Donner Recreation & Park District proposed wasnt necessarily in the best interest of the arts community, she said. However, despite the decision to reconsider the theater, I still feel like weve gained some ground, Archer said. The recreation district is planning to construct the community center with performing arts space on a site between Donner Pass Road, Interstate 80 and Highway 89 North. The 14-acre parcel was donated by East West Partners for a community-benefit project, as specified in East West’s Gray’s Crossing development agreement. A 14,000 square-foot theater is included in the second phase of construction. Archer said the proposed performing arts center was a shell of a theater with no room for expansion. What the committee would like to see is a comprehensive arts and culture center with studio and office space for local groups to use, she said. Sierra College has shown an interest in building a performing arts venue next to its new Truckee campus, Archer said. The committee will also continue working with the park district on its plans.Steve Randall, general manager of the park district, was not available to comment Thursday.The reality is that it needs to be something that stands on its own, a sustainable entity that wont necessarily have to rely on bond measures for monetary support, Valentine said. Beside focusing on the creation of an arts venue, the committee intends to develop a public art master plan, survey existing resources, create an off-season art festival, establish an arts calendar, promote education for students, offer artist mentoring and explore display spaces for art.In the meantime, the drama continues, Archer said.


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