Fort Morgan, CO  2/4/2020.  Nearly ten years ago, Morgan Community College created the Center for Arts and Community Enrichment – also known throughout the region as CACE.  CACE provides annual arts programming in three areas: authors and speakers, performing arts, and visual arts.  During the 2019/2020 season, CACE is offering over twenty events to enrich the community, including concerts, exhibits in the CACE Gallery of Fine Art, and special presentations by talented artists and guest lecturers.  CACE recently launched a fourth area of focus, community arts.

Similar to the other three CACE areas, community arts is guided by a committee represented by MCC employees and volunteer community members.  The Community Arts Committee’s goal is to increase a community-wide collaborative focus on all things art, including music, literature, performance, and visual art. 

Most notably, the Community Arts Committee has sponsored the creation and organization of the Third Thursday Art Walks happening in downtown Fort Morgan, increasing visibility of local artists and promoting downtown businesses.  More than a year of planning led CACE to this initiative, and the attendance at the Art Walks is evidence of strong community interest.  CACE will continue to expand opportunities for more community arts events and projects in the coming months. 

“Community arts seemed like a natural next step for CACE,” said MCC President, Dr. Curt Freed.  “The northeast Colorado region is blessed to have a wonderful arts community, and CACE is proud to provide a way to spotlight local artists.” 

CACE Coordinator Suzanna Spears noted, “There are many positive results from the Third Thursday Art Walks. One that is special to me is to see families, parents and children exploring the art, talking with the local artists, and having their own conversations about their favorite works.”

CACE Visual Arts Co-chair Mary Zorn added, “It is exciting to see the Morgan County communities embrace the benefits of a growing presence of the arts. The collaboration in the Community Arts Committee is so positive. It is good for our rural quality of life and good for the local economy.”

The community arts initiative complements the work of the long-standing CACE Visual Arts Committee.  The visual arts group will continue to coordinate juried art shows from regional and national artists at the CACE Gallery of Fine Art.  Since its inception, CACE has received proposals from hundreds of artists wishing to exhibit their work in the gallery at 300 Main Street.  CACE exhibits feature a wide variety of artists with diverse styles and mediums to meet the broad interests of the community.  Each year, the gallery also features an exhibit of the “Best of the Best” art show featuring the works of Morgan County middle school, high school, and college students.  The gallery also hosts an early childhood art show.  CACE events are always free and open to the public.  Donations and endowments from a large number of donors provide the important funding necessary to continue CACE programming.  For additional information about events or to join a CACE committee, visit http://www.morgancc.edu/cace or contact  Suzanna Spears at Suzanna.Spears@MorganCC.edu or (970) 542-3180.