What is “WestonArts,” besides being one of my favorite organizations ever?
“From music and art to writing and dance, WestonArts makes our town a better place and more cultured place to live.” This is perhaps the most honest and accurate self-assessment they could make.
Early on in the construction of Weston’s massive schools and fields project, with the ink on its award of 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status barely dry, WestonArts made a commitment.
Although the high school was to be doubled in size, there was no money to renovate its auditorium. That is the one space in Weston large enough to seat around 600 people. It was opened in the mid-1960s, and no one had spent a penny on it since.
The intrepid WestonArts board said it would raise the funds to bring the sound system, the lighting, and the seats up to 21st-Century theater standards. The group formed a synergistic partnership with the town, which provided additional funding and efficient oversight by our ever creative and talented Building Committee.
Looking back now, it all seems like an archetype and a template for public-private partnerships. Making best use of town and school facilities is always a worthy goal. Providing the extra outreach of a private entity to bring costs down and bring in users sounds like a plan to me.
As Weston and the Planning & Zoning Commission embark on the state-mandated once-per-decade process of planning for the town’s future, perhaps new opportunities will arise for the town to again benefit from this partnership. If you already haven’t, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution at westonarts.org.