The Executive Board of Curtains Up Pagosa! met last Saturday to dream, plan, and strategize for the future of the organization. The mission of Curtains Up Pagosa ! (formerly Music Boosters) is “strengthening Pagosa youth through the arts and adult mentorship.” “It is our goal as an organization to uphold that mission through careful planning and programming so that we can continue to offer scholarships, and foster strong arts programs in the schools,” says president, Bill Stine.
Curtains Up Pagosa! was formed in 1989 by a small group of theater lovers who wanted to put on plays for the community and use proceeds to provide scholarships for students planning to major in music. The organization, originally named Music Boosters, has grown over the past 23 years and has offered increasingly more polished and professional quality musical performances each summer and winter, complete with a well-trained amateur cast and a live orchestra of retired professional and semi-professional musicians.
Curtains Up Pagosa! represents the best of Pagosa Springs. Their commitment to excellence in the performing arts has inspired countless students and adults to bring their talents to the community. Many thousands of dollars has been collected and given by the organization to provide scholarships, instruments, sound equipment, costuming and sets, and many other essential tools for school arts programs. “This is a rather unique organization,” says Bill Stine. “Not many towns our size can boast a grass roots community organization that has the longevity and financial commitment to the arts in schools that CUP has,” he said.
Scene from Cinderella performed by Curtains Up Pagosa! in the summer of 2012 Photo courtesy of Dale Morris
The organization has been known to go beyond support of arts in the schools.
In 2011, CUP served as the founder of the Pagosa Springs Community Band, offering funding and backing to help the band establish their roots in the community. They have since gone on to form their own board and are now a growing and vital part of the Pagosa arts community. “We have enjoyed the talents of these talented instrumentalists for years,” says Stine,” and we heard their desire to become their own formal ensemble. The makings of a great community band were already available. We supplied the organizational tools, the funding, and the non-profit status, and before the year was over, they were off and running,” said Stine.
“Thanks to strong community support for the arts and our organization, CUP is becoming more and more financially viable,” says Stine. “We recently received a very generous donation from Old Town Market, and are working to find other individuals, organizations, and foundations who will invest in the growth of arts in the schools through their support of Curtains Up Pagosa! We continue to stretch our organization to offer support for students in visual arts, media arts, as well as theater, music, and dance. However, our first priority is to continue to offer scholarships to students who are majoring in the arts. We currently support four students who are receiving four-year scholarships of $1,000 per year. These scholarships are contingent upon the students maintaining good grades and continuing as fine arts majors all four years. We are very proud of these amazing young people who are thriving in their chosen artistic fields,” said Stine.
Curtains Up Pagosa! will present the musical, Pippen, as its summer production over the fourth of July holidays. The musical is currently is being revived on Broadway. Watch for audition information to be announced soon.
For more information about Curtains Up Pagosa! go to www.pagosamusicboosters.org.