Arvada Center: Task force recommends split

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The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities is proposing to become a separate entity after 37 years as a department of the city.

A public meeting was held Oct. 30 to discuss the findings and recommendations of the center's ad hoc task force. The meeting at the Arvada Historical Museum, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., detailed the recommendations from two studies by the Kellogg Organization and the center's task force. Through these studies, the task force ultimately recommended the center transition to a nonprofit organization rather than continue to be a department of the city.

“The new structure will allow the city to focus on core services and programs while keeping the Arvada Center for community and regional use,” said Philip Sneed, executive director of the Arvada Center.

According to the presentation, the change will allow the city to stabilize its annual $4 million contribution, and allow the center to have more control over the activities and programs offered. The proposal — while not yet approved — is projected to take three to five years to complete.

The task force recommended the installment of a new board consisting of non-elected, influential community members; the transition of current and future Arvada Center employees to the nonprofit; the relocation of the Arvada Department of Hospitality to a location outside of the Arvada Center; and an operating and lease agreement be established between the City of Arvada and the Arvada Center nonprofit.

About 50 community members attended the meeting, including former Arvada Center executive director, Gene Sobczak, Arvada City Council members Shelley Cook, Mark McGoff, and City Council candidate John Marriott, as well as other city staff, arts council members and Arvada residents.

The majority of residents at the meeting expressed support of the changes.

The recommendations will be presented to the City Council at a Nov. 25 workshop. To best address these changes, the Arvada Center encourages residents to send in any comments, questions or concerns they have.

“We urge people to continue the conversation, that's why we are having these conversations, we want to know what matters,” Sneed said.

For more information or to submit a comment, call 720-898-7200 or email info@arvadacenter.org.