Wyoming Arts Council

arts + skiing = economic revitalization

The following article by Tessa Schweigert appeared in today’s edition of the Powell Tribune. The grand opening of the Plaza Diane Community Center for the Arts will be held Thursday (today), Aug. 27, 6-10 p.m. at the corner of 2nd and Bent in Powell. Dance music by The Fireants from Buffalo, a group on the WAC’s artist roster. “Powell’s Portraits” exhibit will be in the gallery, featuring the artwork of John Giarizzo and and poetry by Burt Bradley. This collaboration portrays the lives of long-time area residents. The event is free and open to the public. Wine, beer, soda and food will be available for purchase.

Here’s the article:

Throughout the past year, money, sweat, hours, ink and dedication have gone into two major revitalization projects in Park County. This week, both projects — a downtown art center and a North Fork ski slope — are gaining steam.

Powell residents will celebrate completion of the Plaza Diane/Community Center for the Arts renovation with a grand opening event today (Thursday). The World War II-era filling station underwent a major facelift over the past year, thanks to a grant from the Wyoming Business Council and private donations. The downtown space was revamped to become an indoor/outdoor venue for organized events, such as art shows and classes, or impromptu get-togethers, such as afternoon picnics.

The plaza’s namesake, Diane Bonner, was an advocate for economic and cultural advancement in Powell. With the commitment of residents young and old, the community arts center has the potential to rejuvenate the downtown area for years to come.

As Powell celebrates Plaza Diane’s completion, another revitalization project outside of Cody also is being recognized this week. The Sleeping Giant ski area on the North Fork is the subject of a National Geographic show highlighting its restoration. Film crews captured helicopters flying the new ski-lift towers into place. The ski area’s opening is slated for this fall, and residents countywide have worked toward making it a successful, profitable destination for recreation.

Both Plaza Diane and Sleeping Giant could have become forgotten eyesores. Rather than decaying, they will be places of new life — where locals and tourists alike can gather and enjoy an art exhibit or an afternoon of skiing.

The dedicated residents, who formed nonprofit groups, raised funding and toiled to reopen better versions of each project deserve, recognition and thanks for their commitment to revitalize valued community spaces.

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