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News Oct 29, 2012 - 5:34:13 AM

Darien Arts Center Receives $90,000 grant from Darien Foundation

By Darien Arts Center

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With a generous $90,000 grant from the Darien Foundation, the Darien Arts Center now can purchase much needed sound and video equipment for the DAC Weatherstone Studio to enrich its programming. Pictured, from left, Ward Glassmeyer, chairman, Darien Foundation, Amy Allen, executive director, Darien Arts Center, and Pam Dysenchuk, Darien Foundation executive director. (contributed photo)
The Darien Arts Center (DAC) is the recipient of a $90,000 grant from the Darien Foundation enabling the nonprofit organization to purchase and install much needed state-of-the-art sound and video equipment to enhance the DAC's Weatherstone Studio, and enrich the experience of everyone who attends or participates in DAC’s programs. This grant, half of which was matched at the Foundation’s annual fund-raising event at the Palace Theatre on September 8, is the largest ever awarded to the DAC.

The Darien Arts Council was founded in 1975 by a small group of citizens who believed that the arts does indeed shape lives, and planted the seed for what has become the Darien Arts Center, a thriving, nonprofit community service organization, and a powerful means of communication and expression.

For 37 years, the Darien Arts Center has become an important part of the cultural life of Darien, and an integral part of the social fabric that makes up the Darien community. For almost four decades, the Darien Arts Center has dedicated itself to supporting and fostering a greater appreciation of, and participation in, the visual and performing arts for all members of the community.

“We are so grateful to the Darien Foundation and our community members who contributed to make this grant award possible. It will afford us many opportunities to enhance our live music and theatre productions, as well as allow us to expand our educational programming offerings. We look forward to developing acting on camera workshops for all ages, and an art education film studies series this spring in the DAC Weatherstone Studio,” said DAC Executive Director Amy Allen.”

The mission of the Darien Foundation is to provide funding for technology and capital projects that will benefit the citizens of Darien. Since its founding in 1998, the Foundation has awarded more than $2.4 million to the Darien Public Schools and other community organizations.

“The Darien Foundation is thrilled to be able to provide the Darien Arts Center with this significant grant,” said Darien Foundation Executive Director Pam Dysenchuk. “We feel that this major improvement to the DAC will enhance the experience of everyone who attends or participates in the Art Center’s programs.”

The Darien Arts Center has more than 1,000 students – from toddlers to seniors – taking part in its weekly programs including music, kids’ theatre, dance, and visual arts. In addition, tens of thousands of residents have supported the live theatre performances throughout the years, and continue to do so. Each year, these diverse programs serve more than 7,000 residents.

“The Darien Foundation is all about ‘building a better Darien,’” said the Foundation’s Board Chairman Ward Glassmeyer. “We are grateful to all our donors for entrusting us to use their donations to make Darien a strong, vibrant, and desirable community.”

As a nonprofit organization, the Darien Arts Center is funded exclusively by tuition, ticket sales and donations, and receives no funding from the town government, or from other local agencies. The DAC Weatherstone Studio, which is the heart of the Darien Arts Center, and its multipurpose room, was renovated into a black-box theatre with a generous donation from Dennis and Marion Weatherstone. The Weatherstone’s also provided the DAC with a donation to install an air-conditioning system.

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