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On our front page this week
May 11, 2022
By Myrna Trauntvein
The Juab Centennial Fine Arts Auditorium, upstairs in the county building, will have new chairs at no expense to the county.
“We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization,” said Michelle Harris, president of the fine arts council. “I have 99 percent good news and 100 percent really good news.”
The chairs in the Juab Centennial Auditorium were from the 1950s, she said. They are old and worn out and are breaking. Because of their age, parts can no longer be found and so some of the chairs are being retired and their usable pieces used to repair other chairs that are in better condition.
She said that the Juab Fine Arts Council (JFAC) had received various grants, had held fundraising events and had received contributions. Cache Valley Bank was a primary sponsor but other individuals and groups in the community had donated funds to the project.
“We have full funding to pay for the chairs,” said Harris. “including the removal of the current chairs.”
She said that they planned to have replacement seating that was wider than the current seating but would have much the same look.
The chairs will have the historic look of the chairs they are replacing but they will also be high grade fire proof to a Grade 1.
“They will have row letters and seat numbers, a back panel, wooden arm rests and end panel and would be in chamomile finish,” said Harris. “The seats and backs will be upholstered.”
She said that, currently, there were 13 chairs in a row but that the wider seats will mean they will lose approximately 21 seats. However, they will still have 273 seats which should be adequate.
She said that the council had wanted to retain the look of the theater and preserve its historic appearance.
“Deseret Book filmed here,” she said. “They said the theater was charming and historic.”
The supplier, Performance Audio, LLC, Salt Lake City, gave the council a bid of $142,851.02 which will expire on May 21. It is a single source bid, meaning that they did not need to go through the bidding process.
Richard Hansen, commissioner, said he applauded the efforts of the council to improve the auditorium. He thought it was important to have fine arts supported in the community.
“I am excited,” said Clinton Painter, commissioner.
He said he would make a motion to allow the fine arts council to replace the seats in the Centennial Auditorium. Hansen made the second and all voted in favor.
Marvin Kenison, county commission chairman, said he also approved the replacement and wanted to thank the council.
“I have one request,” said Painter, “save one chair to keep somewhere, perhaps in a museum or just to display.”
Hansen said he would encourage the council to keep an end chair.
“I am also sentimental,” said Harris. “I will see what can be done because the chairs are hooked together.”
Harris also gave an overview of programs and events that the Juab Fine Arts Council sponsors during the year.
“We produce 10 quality events throughout the year and patron support is critical in maintaining these great programs for our community,” said Harris.
She said that the organization holds art workshops and Art in the Park, orchestra/choir presentations, theater and musical theater, a children’s theater summer camp, a Halloween theatrical dance concert, the Nutcracker Ballet and the Christmas Festival.
“The Nutcracker is in its 12th season and has become a family tradition for many families,” said Harris. “Art in the Park and the Christmas Festival are both free events.”
Painter said that he had attended the Nutcracker this past December and was impressed with the performance which was more than he had expected it to be.
“The JFAC is 100 percent volunteer organization whose mission is ‘to promote cultural growth and experiences in Juab County through all forms of fine art.’ We do this by assisting artists, arts organizations and groups with arts-oriented projects and events.”
She said that they never turn anyone away who wants to participate. JFAC is concerned about educating and providing experience.
“There are adults, as well as our youth, who like to be creative,” said Harris. “Mental health concerns are big now. Some with anxiety tell us that participation has helped them heal.”