By Marianne Boerigter
The Dogwood Center for Performing Arts provides year-round program opportunities and is a community resource that engages a wide spectrum of participants. The nonprofit's mission is to be a creative force and community resource providing cultural experiences for Newaygo County and surrounding areas. The Dogwood Center's core purpose is to serve as both a venue for community groups to utilize, and as a significant partner and provider of a wide range of high quality cultural programming for the Newaygo County area. This programming augments the quality of life and ultimately the area's economic vitality. The organization continually strives to connect with community and to expand on an understanding and appreciation for the arts with residents of our area.
The arts play a critical role in stimulating creativity and are crucial to the development of vital communities. The Dogwood Center was a dream of a core group of friends and colleagues who recognized the opportunities such a facility could bring to the region. In the years since the dream become a reality, the Dogwood Center has opened the doors to a sparkling array of entertainment while being instrumental in delivering a wide array of cultural experiences, educational initiatives, and as a welcoming host for community events.
The Dogwood Center Board of Directors have been working on an improvement plan to make the facility more easily accessible. The goals of the plan are:
In December 2017, the Dogwood Center Board of Directors began the fundraising phase for the project, "A Legacy of Opportunity, An Opportunity for Accessibility" and are excited to work on improvements that will increase accessibility to the facility and make the Dogwood patron's experience memorable and include ease of entry. The total project cost is estimated at $300,000. Great progress has been made over the last eight months, and with contributions from community members, businesses, and grant funding, the Dogwood Board of Directors has raised 85% of the project goal. We are asking you to join in and help us in our final push!
The Dogwood Center received a lead gift towards the project from Ms. Peggie Stone, a strong supporter of Newaygo County, arts and culture, and accessibility for all. Peggie's lead gift of $50,000 was a tremendous contribution to spark this project in moving forward.
Ms. Stone also provided a challenge to the community….she provided a match gift of up to $50,000 to community contributions towards this improvement project! Community members and area businesses stepped up to contribute to the project, and as of July 17 the challenge has been met!
Another partner in the project is the Dogwood Foundation, a private foundation established by Dorothy Scott Merrill in 1994. The Dogwood Foundation has now set another community challenge toward the improvement project and will match community and business contributions $1/$1 up to $10,000!
The Dogwood Center Board of Directors include: Ken De Laat, Sherrie Harris, Jodi De Kuiper, Terrie Ortwein, Mark Miller, Sandy Williams, Charles Chandler, Lisa Jahr, Jamie Denslow, Diane Purgiel, Deb Reinhold, Sandy Siegel, and Mary Anderson.
You and your family can be a part of making your Dogwood more appealing, accessible and welcoming. Please be as generous as you are able with your gift of financial support towards this important project. Contributions may easily be made on-line at www.dogwoodcenter.com or by clicking the link here: Donate to the Dogwood!
For more information on the Dogwood Center programs or improvement plan, contact 231.924.8885 or stop by at 4734 S. Campus Court, one-mile east of downtown Fremont.