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Tue, Oct. 22

PAAHC nurtures arts, humanities

In 1973, a group of individuals who brought the "Art Train" to the Prescott area formed the Prescott Area Arts and Humanities Council (PAAHC).

PAAHC was the first arts or humanities council ever founded in Arizona. Although PAAHC was not active for some years, Prescott is now one of the fastest growing arts communities in the country and with it PAAHC is again a growing council with many enthusiastic local members who love and support the arts and humanities.

The main purpose of PAAHC is to serve as a liaison and network support among the many galleries, arts organizations, schools, and the community in promoting and encouraging the arts. PAAHC maintains a comprehensive, area-wide arts and humanities calendar at www.prescottarts.com. Anyone can add an event to the calendar or find out what's happening in the tri-city area. Local artists can also register on the artists' roster.

PAAHC devoted considerable energy over the past two years to saving and restoring the 1905 Elks Opera House. It raised more than $30,000 and made critical repairs to the theater, which belongs to the City of Prescott. PAAHC recently purchased and installed a $7,000 sound reinforcement system in the theater and is sponsoring another fund-raiser in June.

PAAHC has provided support to various art projects in the area in a number of ways, including financial help, staffing openings, and creating regularly scheduled networking evenings for PAAHC members at local eateries and galleries. For example, PAAHC recently provided financial support to the free summer breakfast and lunch program for children of Prescott being offered through Prescott College's Butte Creek Café. PAAHC was also there with wine and cheese to host and celebrate the opening of the M.A.D. Linguist in the McCormick Arts District.

In March, PAAHC sponsored the Mariachi Apache Youth Band and in April sponsored a free concert of the U.S. Coast Guard Band, which more than 600 people attended. On May 24 the Prescott Area Arts & Humanities Council sponsored the Spring 2002 ArtsWalk, which brought hundreds of members of the community together in 25 of downtown Prescott's beautiful local galleries.

Many visitors come to Prescott specifically to enjoy our growing art community. Even USA Today listed Prescott in an article as one of 10 of the "great places for arts-filled action" in the U.S.

PAAHC's next big event will take place on June 9 at 2 p.m. when the organization will pre-sent a benefit concert to raise funds for further restoration of the Elks Theater. Christina Cuda Robertson will play classical piano, and lyric soprano Alicia Bauer will sing favorite arias and songs from classic show tunes and period popular music. Tickets are available now at the Sharlot Hall Museum.

Overseeing PAAHC is a committed group of volunteers who serve on the PAAHC Board of Directors. The board comprises individuals who represent local colleges, museums, art associations, galleries, performance groups, and of course local artists. The board has a goal of representing as many arts organizations in town as possible and specifically would like to have individuals join us who might represent the artists of the Yavapai nation and the Prescott Jazz Society.

The PAAHC Board of Directors invites participation from all members of the community through individual, student, or corporate membership; your membership helps support the arts and humanities in the Prescott area.

We invite community members to participate in PAAHC-promoted events or come and observe the board meetings; you can find the information on the calendar at www.prescottarts.com.

PAAHC wants the community to know that we are here and we are here to serve you!

A contest is under way to find the perfect logo image to exemplify the Prescott Area Arts and Humanities Council and Prescott as a developing arts community. Artists may submit proposals for a design to the PAAHC Board of Directors. The winning artist will receive a prize, which will include free ad space in the PAAHC newsletter for one year. For information about the PAAHC logo contest call 717-1760.

For more information about PAAHC call 899-5014 or go to www.prescottarts.com. Don't miss any of the great arts and humanities activities in the Prescott area.

(Joan Clingan is a member of the PAAHC Board of Directors. Joan is a faculty member with Prescott College's Master of Arts Program in the humanities.)

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