A centennial of local arts history has been wrapped around the yearlong celebration of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College’s 100th anniversary. The story travels from the 1919 Broadmoor Art Academy to the Fine Arts Center to the 2016 alliance with Colorado College.

A high point of the year was the glittering gala Sept. 7 honoring those who came before and those who are continuing to help provide, in the words of director Erin Hannan, “transformational arts experiences” into the future.

Gala Grand Honorees were the first members of FAC Visionaries, those benefactors whose lifetime gifts of $1 million or more have made the center what it is. Leading the list were the center’s creators, Alice Bemis Taylor, Julie Penrose and Elizabeth Sage Hare.

Joining the trio as philanthropic FAC Visionaries: Kathy, Dusty and Gary Loo; El Pomar Foundation; John and Margot Lane Foundation; Kresge Foundation; Susie Burghart and Rich Tosches; Elizabeth Miller Francis; Tim and Lorie Hoiles; Cathy and Bart Holaday; GE Johnson and the Johnson family; Nor’wood and the Jenkins family; and Jim Raughton.

An entire page in the gala program was filled with names of the 1919 Society, donors who during the anniversary year made one-time contributions of at least $1,919 in addition to their regular FAC support.

Hannan’s program notes also acknowledged the “vast community of artists, educators, members, volunteers, staff, contractors, donors, visitors, advocates and others who have made countless contributions to the FAC over these 10 decades.”

The gala, sold out far in advance, started with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the Deco Lounge, along the art-lined corridors and in Taste restaurant. Then it moved into the theater for special performances covering the years. An elegant seated dinner was in the glass corridor and under a tent in the courtyard, with dessert and music following.

Awesome table centerpieces were most often unique to that table’s hosts, interests or business. Volunteers led by Carrie Trookman, Gabi Doussett and Tara Thomas had scoured thrift and second-hand shops for materials and fabrics to recycle into one-of-a-kind art pieces sold at evening’s end.

Selected local artists had created a silent auction unlike any other, of art vessels picturing the different decades, the FAC highlights and events and offering odes to famed artists and works from the center’s history. At one table were descendants of Alice Bemis Taylor

and that of her chosen FAC architect, John Gaw Meem.

Gala co-chairs Kate Faricy and Martha Marzolf wrote that in the arts center, “Today, and into tomorrow, we hold strong as an amazing and uncommon gem — a museum, theatre and art school — all in one place. We have something very special here and we know it.”

Their 100th anniversary committee also included Barbi Bailey, Lelia Davis, Sally Hybl, Deb Mahan, Jennifer Oseth, Kelli Scoville, Jill Smith and Mimi Wheeler.

Upcoming: “The Broadmoor Art Academy and its Legacy, 1919-1970” opens Oct. 12 and runs through Jan. 12.

Photo gallery: gazette.com/life/around-town

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