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Is there interest in a Monett Arts Council?

Friday, October 14, 2011

An informational meeting to begin the process of forming a Monett Arts Council will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17 at Denali Dreams Gallery and Coffee Shop in downtown Monett.

The council is open to any artists or anyone interested in supporting the arts in Monett.

"We need an umbrella organization that covers all of the arts," said Bennett. "We would be able to do a lot more promoting, and there are funds available from the state, the federal government and from independent art organizations that will not only help fund individual events in arts but will fund multi-dimensional art organizations."

There are several existing organizations that specialize in one type of art. With a formed art council organization, all of the arts would be promoted. An art council would make it possible to receive grants that will benefit smaller groups but the funds have to be granted to a multi-dimensional art organization.

"We have a lot of talent in Monett from music to painting," said Bennett. "I hear of a lot of people that go to Branson to experience some of this talent and they don't realize that we have it right here. Anyone that wants to see more done in Monett is what the council is for.

"This is also a way for artists to contribute to the community and network their talents," Bennett added. "I think we will see financial sponsorship of arts in Monett increase greatly when they see a unified effort and they give this money and see it go to all of these different areas and support a variety of things instead of just one thing."

A local arts council can meet a wide variety of needs. When someone is looking for a wedding singer, or if one of the local nursing homes needs some help with participation in activities, the art council could offer information about individuals that specialize in that particular talent.

Membership in the council can be a singular artist or someone who supports the arts. It can be also be a group, but structure needs to be established to get it started.

According to Bennett the first step is to gauge interest in establishing the organization.

"We need five people that will step up and be part of a committee to apply and begin the process of a non-profit status," said Bennett. "It doesn't have to be in the capacity of longterm, but we need the committee to lay the foundation.

"There is also the possibility of a building being donated from owners that are looking for some way they can add to the community," Bennett said. "The performance hall wouldn't be huge, but 150 people might be able to come and watch a recital with artwork on the walls to view."

There is also money available to provide operating expenses for a council, which could cover the maintenance of a building, utility bills and a part-time employee to handle request from the public.

The purpose of the council is to bring art to Monett, support the current artists in the area and build interest in the arts. Future projects could include art shows, music festivals, concerts, performances and educational projects.

"We in turn can use the expertise of all the different groups," said Bennett. "I would like to see more performance art in Monett. We have nine months out of the year that there just is not much going on."

For more information on joining the Monett Arts Council or on the meeting, call Bennett at 417-772-7092 or visit him at Denali Dreams and Coffee Shop, located at 316 E. Broadway.

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