Darien Arts Center Gets Nearly $10K in State Grant

Weatherstone Studio

The DAC Weatherstone Studio’s black box theatre during a past performance. (contributed)

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The Darien Arts Center, currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, was recently awarded a 2016 Supporting Arts in Place matching grant in the amount of $9,983 by the Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) and the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD).


— An announcement from Darien Arts Center


Despite funding reductions, the COA committed to increasing the amount allocated to the Supporting Arts in Place category, now representing nearly 40% of available grant funds for COA grant programs, and included the DAC in its funding.

In a letter to the DAC, the COA stated, “Your organization contributes significantly to our agency’s goals and supports the state’s local and regional economies.”

Weatherstone Studio

The DAC Weatherstone Studio’s black box theatre during a past performance. (contributed)

Founded in 1975, the DAC is dedicated to providing visual and performing arts programs and events for the community, with over 6000 individuals attending programs and performances each year.

Offerings include educational programs in dance, visual arts, music and theatre, as well as special events and community theatre produced by DAC Stage. Over 600 students benefit from the DAC dance program and the number of music students has recently doubled, necessitating expansion of classroom space.

Hundreds of local artists showcase their work at the Annual Art Show and Sale and the Ginny Wright Scholarship is given annually to a graduating Darien High School artist. DAC Stage, its recently revamped community theatre group, continues to gain recognition for critically acclaimed shows.

Most recently, the DAC has expanded its community outreach and has developed partnerships with the Darien Library, Darien Nature Center, Atria, Maplewood and Darien After School Programs. Those with special needs are able to express themselves in Artabilities and Danceabilities classes through a newly forged relationship with Star, Inc.

“We are very appreciative of this grant from the COA, which helps the DAC to continue its creative work in the community,” says Amy Allen, executive director. The non-profit currently

depends on over 150 teen and adult volunteers to fulfill their mission and is solely funded by private donations, grants, tuition fees and ticket sales. “Donations and grants help us move forward with vital projects that enable the DAC to continue to make Darien a more vibrant community.”

Upcoming DAC events include Evening of Dance on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 18 at 4 p.m., the November DAC Stage production of The Nerd by Larry Shue and the popular dance department performance of Scenes from the Nutcracker in December.

The DAC is one of the beneficiaries of the 2015 Annual Wine and Food Tasting sponsored by the Darien Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Oct. 22. Online tickets for the event at BMW in Darien are available at DarienCTChamber.com

The Darien Arts Center is located at 2 Renshaw Road, behind the Town Hall. For further information, call (203) 655-8683 or visit the DAC website.

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