October 24, 2019

Moreno Valley Arts Council Says “I Know Jo, Do You?”

mvacBy Jo Mixon

Missoula Children’s Theater

The Moreno Valley Arts Council is one of the oldest organizations in Angel Fire. Bettes Loving and eight other members of the community who wanted to create an arts presence started it over 30 years ago. This same group of founding members had the forethought to begin the Chamber of Commerce, the Angel Fire Arts Foundation and even the incorporation of the Village of Angel Fire.

The mission statement of this non-profit 501(c) 3 organization says, “It is the stated mission of the Moreno Valley Arts Council to foster rural economic development by promoting the arts and humanities in order to enrich the lives of our residents and visitors.”

They are all about arts! Membership has grown to almost 300 in this time period. The programs and events they sponsor truly do enrich our lives and are designed to support, educate, and promote the arts. The “Angel Fire Arts Festival,” now in its thirty-third year, is held the second weekend in July. This annual event continues to attract many talented local and traveling artists. It was originally held in the outdoor “Garden Court” at the Angel Fire Resort. It moved for a few years to the Community Center and has evolved back into the now enclosed “Garden Court Room” again. When speaking with Moreno Valley Arts Council’s Executive Director, Katherine McDermott, she said, “The Garden Court room is so beautiful when filled with all of the art!” The Friday night premiere for this event has been replaced with the successful “Noche de Rancho” dinner event.

“Arts About Town” is another annual event held during the Labor Day weekend. It also draws artisans and shoppers from all over the area and state. Held mainly in the foyer and under the portal of Centro Plaza you don’t want to miss it. In 1998 the Moreno Valley Arts Council began the “Angel Fire Holiday Market.” This event has since been turned over to the Community Center and continues to be a profitable fundraiser for area artists.

Another way they promote our local artists is to co-sponsor the First National Bank Featured Artists program. Together with the First National Bank and the Sangre de Cristo Chronicle, local artists are interviewed and chosen on a quarterly basis for display. The Moreno Valley Arts Council Board of Directors conducts the interviews, chooses the artist and writes a story about them. The Chronicle publishes the story and the artist’s work is then featured at the First National Bank for three months.

Although most well known for these major events, the Moreno Valley Arts Council promotes much more! They provide exceptional year round programs for the delight of our children. Since 1981, Missoula Children’s Theatre summer program has touched the lives of hundreds of Moreno Valley children. Then, in 2001 “Art Days and Conversations in Art” was introduced into our local elementary and high schools. The motto of the youth arts program is STEAM. Add an “A”(for Arts) to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) to get the STEAM to move AHEAD! This program operates during the school year to bring artists, musicians, culinary artists, theater artists, etc. etc. into the schools by means of workshops and performances. The council also helped sponsor the development of the Angel Fire Community Center playground by purchasing hands-on-arts related items like the stone animals and musical instruments for permanent installation at the playground.

And going into its fourth year is the “Artistic Vista’s & Treasures Trail.” A division of the Department of Cultural Affairs of the State of New Mexico created Art Trails of New Mexico. The first one was the Fiber Art Trail. There are art trails now in various places over much of the state. Our trail runs from Raton up Hwy 64 through Cimarron, Ute Park and Eagle Nest winding its way through to the far end of the Taos Canyon. It also turns onto Hwy 434, runs through Angel Fire and Black Lake as far as Hwy 120. You can enjoy and experience eighteen studios and galleries on the Artistic Vista’s & Treasures Trail!

As a member based organization the Moreno Valley Arts Council is supported by membership dues, donations, event revenues (ticket sales and booth rentals), and grants. They are funded in part by the New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs of the state of New Mexico, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Village of Angel Fire Lodgers Tax. They are interested in bringing even more events and programs. One in particular is a “Plein Aire Painting Competition” that will bring artists from across the country to Angel Fire hopefully in the fall of 2014. Much of the council’s budget includes marketing, brochures, and advertising and their behind the scenes work is spent on the promotion of the arts and events in the Moreno Valley to help bring financial support for our artists.

The Board of Directors are: President, Cyndi Simon; Vice-President/Secretary, Roz Garland; Treasurer, Linda Trujillo; and Directors John McDermott and Wende Woolley. They would like to invite you to join. An individual membership into the Moreno Valley Arts Council is only $20.00 per year. $30.00 a year will purchase a couple or family membership and $100.00 a year is the dues for a business. Memberships help to ensure the council’s sustainability and their continued expansion of programs and events that directly benefit our local community, the surrounding Moreno Valley communities and our guests. Visit www.morenovalleyarts.org for more information.

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