For a small rural county, we have an abundance of cultural events. A glance at this newspaper’s Arts & Entertainment page or the events calendar offers a weekly glimpse of events that dwarf the listings of most communities our size. It’s one of the reasons many of us choose to live here.
Much of the reason the arts are flourishing in Plumas County is because of the contributions and influence of Plumas Arts and the hundreds of residents who support the nonprofit organization.
Last week’s contribution to Plumas Arts by the county, approved by the Board of Supervisors, was a significant gesture. The $3,000 won’t go far. But in this post-recession financial climate, where the county is keeping track of every penny, the contribution affirms how important the arts are to us.
Plumas Arts, under the tireless leadership of Roxanne Valladao, works to promote the arts and support artists in ways that many people don’t even realize. The organization’s tentacles are broad and far-reaching. It facilitates arts education programs in all county schools and produces events in virtually every corner of the county — from Words & Music, to gallery openings, to major shows.
The organization supports local artists and runs an impressive gallery to feature the artists’ work. And we can’t forget the movie theatre. There are times when Plumas Arts doesn’t make a dime showing movies at the Town Hall Theatre. But it’s the only place in the county to watch a film on the big screen. Because of that, Plumas Arts does everything in its power to keep the theatre open for business.
Thanks to strong leadership, and being creative and diversified, Plumas Arts survived the recession. Its funding base combines earned income, fundraising events, memberships, donations, grant funding, corporate sponsorship and public funding. “Because we learned — the hard way — that at any given time one or more of these sources can fail,” Valladao wrote in her presentation for the supervisors. “So, we have worked very hard for very long to have more than just one basket in which to gather all of our eggs.”
Some of the grants Plumas Arts has been awarded are used to support other event producers. A sample of those events include the Celtic Festival in Blairsden, A Few Brews & A Banjo Chester High School Fundraiser, Portola City Lights and Quincy Certified Farmers’ Market concert series, artist fees for the Greenville mural restoration and Lacy J. Dalton’s performance at the Greenville centennial, as well as others.
Plumas Arts also brings revenue and tax dollars to the county. Art shows at the Plumas Arts Gallery generate upward of $150,000 in sales tax revenue for the county each year. And many of the events attract tourists from out of the county who stay in our hotels and eat at our restaurants.
In short, Plumas Arts provides more than just culture to our community. The organization is a vital economic engine that deserves our support.
It is good to see that our county leaders feel the same way.