Yuma Sun

Yuma County Arts Alliance forms to support local arts

- BY JOHN VAUGHN bajo el SOL editor

A newly formed nonprofit organizati­on that wants to promote arts in the area will introduce itself to the public March 3 at a fund-raising event in Yuma.

Cafecito Yuma, 176 S. Main St., will host the event at which members of the Yuma County Arts Alliance will discuss efforts to help artists promote their work, help arts teachers and to expose residents to a wider range of visual and performing arts.

The event, which will serve as a fund-raiser for the alliance’s future activities, will feature live performanc­es by area performing arts groups, raffles for performing arts tickets and arts classes, and a gallery of artwork available for purchase.

The alliance is a 501c(3) nonprofit organizati­on made up of artists, teachers, cultural organizati­ons, nonprofits and businesses in the Yuma area.

Its mission will include hosting events to promote the talents of visual and performing artists, providing continuing education opportunit­ies for art teachers, helping struggling artists pay for supplies, hosting appearance­s by visiting artists, and joining with other organizati­ons to promote arts in the area.

Randy Wright, one of the directors of the alliance, said the group wants to be a blanket organizati­on for all artists, whether they’re visual artists working in any medium, or performing artists who sing, play in band or orchestra, dance or act on stage.

“We want to be something that covers everything and that brings those people together and furthers art and acceptance (of art) in our community,” he said. “If there are discipline­s of arts we don’t have, we want to bring them in and expose them to our community.”

Among those the alliance hopes to help are artists who are struggling to find opportunit­ies to exhibit their work, he said.

“We want to help up and coming artists to get their names out there and get known.”

There could also be elementary and high school teachers who are new to art education and looking for new opportunit­ies for profession­al training, he said.

“We anticipate there will be new teachers who would appreciate help, so we want to be an advocate for them.”

At present the alliance is working to bring the Arizona Opera to town for a limited visit to teach classes and present some public performanc­es.

It also has plans to create an online calendar to let the public know about arts events taking place around the county, Wright said.

The alliance formed just before the start of pandemic but suspended its activities as COVID-19 cases surged in the Yuma area, he said. It became active again in August.

The event at Cafecito, held as part of the craft coffee house’s First Friday gatherings, is “kind of our breaking out party, is the way I look at it,” Wright said. “It’s also a fund-raiser.”

All proceeds raised, including money earned from the sale of art, will go toward the alliance’s activities and programs to promote the arts and help emerging artists and arts educators.

The alliance is seeking donations of art for sale in the art gallery. Any artwork that is not sold will be returned to the donors.

To donate art or for more informatio­n about the alliance, send an e-mail to yumacounty­artsallian­ce@ gmail.com.

The alliance also accepts financial donations. Those who would like to donate can do so online at https:// givebutter.com/bqkpux, or by texting Yuma Arts at (202) 858-1233.

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