Task force recommends Arvada Center Foundation

Sara Van Cleve
Posted

Following four meetings over four months, the Arvada Center Ad Hoc Task Force has developed recommendations for the future operations of the center.

The volunteer Ad Hoc Task Force was formed in the fall of 2012 following a study completed by the Kellogg Organization examining the current structure of the Arvada Center.

During a workshop Aug. 12, City Council heard a report on the task force’s recommendations.

The primary recommendation from the task force was that, over a period of time, the Arvada Center organizational structure shift to collaboration between the city of Arvada and a privately-funded independent board, the Arvada Center Foundation.

“The consensus was it needs to move away from 100 percent public into that spectrum,” Arvada Center Chief Operating Officer Clark Johnson said. “It was decided if there is a desire to maintain the Arvada Center as a regional asset, and a leading arts and cultural center, while creating a sustainable, stable and clear future for both patrons and the city, a move toward a more private model is needed.”

With this recommendation, the city would commit to a certain level of funding and maintain that funding while the foundation board seeks to increase center funding through private donors.

“Throughout this process, the idea of collaboration with the city was not lost on anyone,” Johnson said. “It is no one’s intention to move independently from the city; rather it is to create a more independent body that partners and collaborates with the city.”

The possible Arvada Center Foundation Board would be a self-perpetuating board of 15-25 individuals from a variety of business, government, philanthropy, education, arts and humanities and funding backgrounds.

The Arvada city manager and Arvada Center executive director would be ex-officio members, and city appointees would comprise about 25 percent of the board.

The city of Arvada would still own and maintain the land and the Arvada Center, but the board would be responsible for all activities at the center as well as, initially, the employment of the Arvada Center executive director and, with time, all employees who report to him.

The board would also assume responsibility of the budget of the Arvada Center, according to an operating agreement with the city.

The operating agreement and lease would govern the working relationship between the city and the foundation. Through the agreement, the city, the Arvada Center Foundation, and the Arvada Council for the Arts and Humanities would work collaboratively to promote arts and culture in the city and region.

The Arvada Council for the Arts and Humanities would maintain responsibility for community arts and culture not delivered through the Arvada Center.

The development and transfer of operations to the foundation would take approximately five years, said Ad Hoc Task Force Co-chair Meyer Saltzman.

“There are a lot details to work out, but it’s a way for the future,” Saltzman said. “The center is 27 years old right now and it has been supported by the citizens of Arvada for that period of time … It’s the city’s asset, and we suggest it remain an asset on (the city’s) books, and that operation be put aside into a separate foundation in order to gain support — charitable support, theatrical support and support from the classes that are there.”

City Council supported the recommendations of the task force.

However, before moving forward with the creation of the foundation or other organizational changes, council requested that city staff come back to them with a schedule for public meetings to allow residents to hear and fully understand the proposed changes before hearing a resolution formalizing the recommendations.

Also, before hearing a resolution, the details of the recommendations, such as the operating agreement and other issues, would be determined by the task force and staff.

The schedule of public meetings regarding the recommendations has not yet been announced.