ABOUT THE DAC: Mission and Vision
The Durango Arts Center (DAC) provides Durango and surrounding communities opportunities to create, to promote, and to participate in diverse arts experiences. The DAC brings people together to explore and engage in arts and culture by fostering creative expression through in-house exhibitions, performances, and educational programs for all ages and abilities.
The DAC strives to support a creative dialogue among community members, ensuring that culture informs local decision-making and enriches our lives.
WHAT DAC OFFERS
Located in downtown Durango, CO, the DAC has become the hub for cultural innovation in southwest Colorado. The building housing DAC, at the corner of E. 2nd Ave. and 8th St., was once home to a car dealership. In 1997, the community collaborated to fund and renovate the 17,000-square-foot building, now home to a gallery, theater, arts library, studio space and more. Come play and explore!
Peggy Zemach started at DAC in May 2012 as the executive director. Peggy has lived in Durango for fifteen years. She was the first director of the Children’s Museum when it was located at DAC, and a founding member of the Durango Discovery Museum. Most recently, she worked as a consultant at the Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum. She brings over twenty years of non-profit experience to the DAC. She holds a B.A in Environmental Education from Colorado College and a Masters degree in Museum Studies from the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Jeannie Berger, the Membership and Volunteer Coordinator, has been on the staff of the DAC for ten years. Jeannie also served as Exhibits Director for over a year and half. Before being hired, she was a volunteer herself for many years and became acquainted with artists and the arts community during that time. As a former English teacher, she employs her language skills in the writing and production of the DAC’s Artsline quarterly newsletter. A native of Texas, she moved with her husband to Durango in 1988.
Sandra Butler is the Education Coordinator at the Durango Arts Center. She started in this position last May, but has been involved with the Arts Center for many years as an artist and educator. Her job includes creating and overseeing the DAC education programs for adults, teens, and kids and coordinating the Art After School program in the 9-R elementary schools. Sandra, a working sculptor who exhibits locally and nationally, received her B.A. at Montana State University in Bozeman, and her M.F.A. at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, in the Sculpture and Extended Media Department.
Theresa Carson, was hired in May 2012 to assume the role of Theater Director of the DAC to expand programs and establish a youth and adult theater program. Formerly the director of theater at San Juan College and the artistic director of Sandstone Productions in Farmington, New Mexico, Theresa spent two years as a visiting faculty member at Fort Lewis College. She moved to Durango from Moorhead, Minnesota, where she was an assistant professor in the Theater Arts Department at Minnesota State University for four years. A graduate of the University of Iowa, she earned an MFA in directing from the University of Utah.
Theresa most recently directed Little Shop of Horrors; Glengarry Glen Ross; Sweeney Todd; Wit; Urinetown, the Musical and The Importance of Being Earnest for the SJC Theater Department; Joseph…Dreamcoat, Oklahoma! and Annie Get Your Gun for Sandstone Productions. She also directed Always…Patsy Cline for the Durango Arts Center in 2010.
Jonas Grushkin, Building Facilities Manager, (www.grushkin.com) joined the arts center a year ago, and is an accomplished electrician, plumber, carpenter, pianist, photographer and graphic artist. His responsibilities at DAC include greasing doors and unclogging sinks, along with numerous other fixings that keep the old building operating. He uses his photography abilities to supply marketing images for DAC.
Julie Madden, the accountant at DAC, has been working with the arts center since July of 2010 and is responsible for all of the arts center’s finances. She said that she enjoys interacting with the people at the arts center—whether they are staff, artists, board members or teachers.
Diane Panelli, Theater Manager, joined the Durango Arts Center five years ago when she was asked to join the board because her son, Joey, was involved in the theater program. She became an employee in January of this year. Diane is responsible for renting all the space at the center, except the education and gallery areas. If an event, such as a wedding, is booked, she will work with the clients to ensure that they have everything they need, including caterers. She loves her job and enjoys seeing an event go from initial concept to final production.
Mary Puller was hired as the part-time exhibits director in July 2011. Her previous experience includes the Mingei Folk Art Museum, in San Diego, California, and UNICEF, in Tucson, Arizona. Mary returned to Durango in June and opened Plein, a folkart and fine craft gallery shop, at the Durango Arts Center.
Elsa Jagniecki is a recent addition to DAC as the new Marketing Coordinator. Elsa brings a unique “self-taught” grassroots approach in coordinating creative communications for DAC marketing. Elsa holds a MSc in Sustainability & Leadership from Blekinge Institute of Technology in Karlskrona, Sweden and a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Colorado State University. Elsa is a participant in the 2013 class of Leadership La Plata and has been a resident of Durango for eight years. Elsa is excited to work closely with DAC and the local community to help support and promote Arts & Culture in Durango and surrounding communities.
Durango Arts Center
802 East Second Avenue
Durango, CO 81301
PH: (970) 259-2606