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Ridgway Chautauqua Society, or The Sherbino as you know it, invites Coloradans to support arts, culture and education in the community by donating on Colorado Gives Day, December 8, 2020.

Community First Foundation and FirstBank present Colorado Gives Day, an annual statewide movement to celebrate and increase philanthropy through online giving. The event is powered by ColoradoGives.org, a year-round, online giving platform. Donors can easily search for our profile on the site and make safe and secure donations. Support us early! Schedule your donations to process on Colorado Gives Day, December 8. They will still count towards the $1 Million Incentive Fund and cash prizes.

As a supporter or patron of the Ridgway Chautauqua Society (RCS) and The Sherbino, you are hopefully aware that the Sherbino has been closed since March 12, 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.

You likely also know that: In the beginning of 2020, we were on-track to supersede previous event numbers with a record number of events in January through March 12 (THIRTY public events).

  • We were able to convert our spring 1.0K Fundrun to a 0.0K Fundrun and were able to maintain our fundraising goal for that event, thanks to our loyal supporters.
  • Our hard working staff was able to secure Payroll Protection Program (PPP) funds for both RCS and Weehawken through July, 2020.
  • Our major fundraiser, the beer tent at the Town of Ridgway’s July concert series, was cancelled and we are currently unable to count on that fundraiser in 2021.
  • The 610 Arts Collective was converted to an online platform in April and has been open in one way or another all year to support both RCS and Weehawken Creative Arts.
  • We worked closely with the Ouray County Health Department to carefully and safely activate the 610 Courtyard as a small capacity venue for NINETY ONE music and other mission- related events. This has supported local artists and provided very limited income for RCS.
  • Through the generosity of the Old Firehouse (Patrick and Marti O’Leary) we’ve been able to rehearse and run EIGHT small-cast (and audience) theatre productions in their backyard (offering 24 performances).

In short, we have somehow managed to keep the lights on with far less staff, more events, and far fewer attendees in 2020.

However, as we look toward the fall and winter, the 610 Courtyard will no longer be a viable venue, the Sherbino Theater will likely remain dark and the PPP funds are no longer available. Despite our best efforts, the Ridgway Chautauqua Society, like many of our local non-profit organizations, will be challenged by grim financial realities the longer current Covid restrictions remain in place.

The RCS Board and Staff (just three half-time people) have been working all year to maximize opportunities and minimize expenses, but we will likely have no revenue starting in October, 2020.

So we are looking to you, our faithful supporters, to help us through the dark times until the lights can go on in the Sherbino Theater and our normal fundraisers can again be activated. Thank you in advance for considering a donation to the Ridgway Chautauqua Society!

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  • DATE

    Tuesday, December 8, 2020