By Stacey Bomser
Weston is a culturally rich and vibrant community, due in part to the efforts of the Arts Council of Greater Weston. For the past 15 years, this all-volunteer, not for profit organization has been dedicated to promoting arts and culture throughout our city. This season’s schedule promises not to disappoint with programs and events that appeal to all ages and interests.
The Arts Council of Greater Weston originated as an arts alliance to coordinate cultural requests for the city. In 2002, City Manager John Flint offered plans to create an independent organization to channel arts and cultural resources. Its first board was elected in April 2003. The Arts Council and the City of Weston formalized their partnership with a written agreement that year, and this agreement has been renewed every three years ever since.
Its mission is four-fold: to assist existing arts and cultural organizations in their efforts to bring high quality events and programming to enhance the quality of life for all residents and neighboring cities; to assist the City of Weston in reviewing requests to sponsor or provide venues for arts and cultural events; to be a liaison between the community, City of Weston and the Broward County Cultural Affairs Division; and to raise awareness for the current issues affecting the arts and culture within the community.
The Arts Council sponsors several signature events each year. Its longest-running event is the Weston Foreign Film Festival, which runs November through March with a different critically-acclaimed film shown each month. Celebrate the Arts Day is a community favorite. The family-oriented festival features Young At Art Museum’s outdoor studio, performances by school band, choral and drama departments, and numerous hands-on activities including a giant graffiti wall. Weston World Fest celebrates the cultural diversity in our community, with cultural exhibits, educational programs, entertainment and authentic cuisine from countries around the world. Each spring, the Student Artist Showcase celebrates the incredible talent of students enrolled in Weston schools. The month-long exhibit is housed at the Weston Branch Library for all to admire. The Arts Council also sponsors a summer Instagram Photo Contest.
In addition, the Arts Council of Greater Weston works closely with local arts organizations to help promote their programs and events. This includes the Weston Philharmonic Society, Weston Art Guild, Weston Branch Library and Friends of the Weston Library, City of Weston, Weston Town Center, Bonaventure Town Center, Cleveland Clinic Florida, and area schools.
“Arts are a vital component to any community’s well-being,” states Arts Council President Jami Nix Rahn. “Events such as festivals, fairs, and public exhibitions provide a chance for people to participate and enjoy themselves. It is our privilege to help support the arts in Weston.”
Past President Joy Rodenberg agrees. “Whether it is viewing a beautiful piece of art, listening to fine music, reading a great book, or attending an informative lecture, art and culture are what unite us.”
For more information on the Arts Council of Greater Weston visit www.1Weston.com, here you can subscribe for its monthly e-blast of upcoming events. To volunteer or offer program suggestions email info@1Weston.com.