Free concert presents performing arts center to the community |

Free concert presents performing arts center to the community

by Jo Rafferty

The Carson Valley Arts Council gained the support of two Carson Valley theater groups for a performing arts center and this week council members hope for a positive response from the community.

Preliminary sketches will be on display and questions will be answered about converting the old Copeland Lumber building into a theater at a free concert featuring folk singer and songwriter Edie Carey Thursday evening at the CVIC Hall in Minden. The most recent drawing, the first by an architect, will be unveiled, showing a 400-seat auditorium rather than 600 seats as in past renditions.

This will be the first in a series of performances – one each month through April – presented by the council, which hopes to get approval and financial backing for the Copeland project.

“First and foremost we just want to make sure there’s community support for this idea,” said arts council president-elect Brian Fitzgerald. “This is the first event CVAC is hosting to make the community aware of our project.”

The arts council, a non-profit incorporated in 2004, began focusing on the 17,902-square-foot structure about a year ago.

“This has been our primary goal, to get a facility in Carson Valley,” said Fitzgerald.

In order to make it happen they have to appeal to the public for private funding and grants. No estimates have been reached yet for the purchase of the building from the owner, Carson Valley resident Mike Gilbert, then for the renovations. However, Fitzgerald hopes to get those figures in about a month.

The council has received two grants so far from the Nevada Arts Council.

“(The Nevada Arts Council is) hoping that through this (Thursday’s) event we’ll get this rendering completed,” said Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald said once they have the backing for purchase and construction, keeping the theater running has been worked out.

“Once we get it up and going we have a plan for the maintenance and operation of the facility,” said Fitzgerald.

Months ago, the council met with two area theater companies to discuss what the groups’ needs are concerning a performing arts center. Both The Dakota Organization and the Carson Valley Community Theatre group were excited about the prospect.

“Basically, we are 100 percent behind their effort to provide this community with a facility for the performing arts,” said Dave Anderson of The Dakota Organization. “It will fill the needs of the community and has the potential to revitalize business in downtown Minden. Their creative ideas for that building are impressive.”

“The Carson Valley Community Theatre organization is very supportive of the project and thinks it would be good for the community,” said CVCT president Linda Diego. “We’ll be there Thursday.”

The concert begins with a reception at 6 p.m., Carey’s performance at 7 p.m. and dessert at 8:15 p.m. For information, visit or call 265-3529.

The Carey concert is sponsored by Tahoe Ridge Winery & Marketplace, Douglas County Parks & Recreation, the Town of Minden, Historian Inn, Sweetie Pies By Wendy,,, the National Endowment For The Arts, Nevada Arts Council, Starbucks Coffee, Syncon Homes and The Record-Courier.

n Jo Rafferty can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 210.