Times-Call (Longmont)

Fill Longmont’s arts hole in the middle

- — Judith Watson, Longmont

“The time is upon us to literally and figurative­ly put the arts on the map in Longmont” — Elliot Moore, Times-call, Feb. 21, 2023

Longmont has a long history of forward-thinking individual­s since the Chicago Colony discovered our valley under the shadow of Longs Peak and decided in 1871 to make this place home. The need to support the arts has never been an issue. The Dickens Opera House at Third and Main bears witness to this endorsemen­t right up to the present day. The more recent building of Vance Brand Auditorium in 1977 at Skyline High School reinforced the commitment by the citizens. But for reasons previously stated, that facility no longer meets the needs or the up-to-date requiremen­ts.

For too long Longmont has been the hole in the middle. We are surrounded by venues outside our city that have facilities large enough to highlight the arts and provided much desired entertainm­ent. The much smaller Stewart Auditorium being a valued exception. We have no place to showcase the artists and performers who make their home here or to provide a suitable facility to attract visiting groups to our city. Our citizens must now leave Longmont and spend their time and their money elsewhere to enjoy the benefits that come from the arts. It is time to build a new venue for the arts here.

Many patrons heard from who live outside the city would rather come to Longmont, either to participat­e in the arts, or for entertainm­ent. We must not miss this opportunit­y to make a difference.

The benefits, culturally and monetarily, that would come to Longmont from such a facility would be huge. Such a center would connect people, be good for business, and good for the community.

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