Director's Updates- classes

April 24.  I just got asked why I don't blog more. it's been  a great year so far. We have so much going - just listing events has been a way to reach out to people.  This past weekend we enjoyed our annual ART-TELL visual arts competition and show,  and a Gala celebration dinner.  It was a fabulously positive happening.  We also now have a video/slide show of the past year's activities and it is amazing what our staff and participants have been able to accomplish. 

Speaking of accomplishments,  we are now looking forward to the Disney version of Aladdin Jr. the Musical. Designed to fit the attention spans of younger families, the show is just over an hour long, but still covers the main plot and most of the favorite songs.   The music is fun and our chorus groups are very talented.  

Think tank has been quiet accept on Wednesdays and some Thursdays , but still available.  We have extra lap tops to help with homework  and  always a few fun crafty things to do including art time on Tuesdays for students age 13 and up and Improv on Thursdays for students age 14 and up.    

Empowering lives through the Arts
Our Goal has been to offer a variety of 'arts- inspiring' activities for a variety of age levels. . . youth Choir, theatre schools for every age group, drawing and other visual arts classes, arts classes for adults, are a big part of this. Classes are year round, with summer camps as well as after school classes September through May. New classes are often start September and January and go  for 6 to 14 weeks.  

Improv Faction: Over the years, since about 2006 or so, we have been offering a  free teen improv program - In the past  2-3 years this has become  a very well structured and well loved Thursday afternoon program from 5-6 or 6:30 pm for teens 14 and older. It is currently under the direction of William Bruce Baird. 
 Pay it Forward:  In 2012,  we started  Pay it Forward as a youth Volunteer program for teens ages 12 to 16 years of age. They mostly meet on Wednesday afternoons from 3:45 to 5:15 pm.  Besides getting to know many of the community service programs and sites, we also help them learn the value of service and assist them in keeping track of their service hours. This program is registered with  the Presidential volunteer service award program.
Think tank: Started September 2016, here is a place to socialize and get help with homework from 3-5 pm.  We will have snack food, and weekly challenges for students.   
More  Free or very low cost Teen opportunities: See our classes and programs page for special  teen classes and activities including: Teen Art time, Group voice training, puppetry and videos arts class, and group instrumental time.*  (* Instrumental/ Rock band  time is still in the works and planning to start soon.)
Creative Stage: This program has expanded theater activities from a yearly Melodrama and annual high school age spring production to include at least two other productions aimed mostly at youth 8-18 years of age. See the Creative stage page under community events.

Equally important has been the puppetry museum and other realated ongoing community activities:
PUPPETRY: If you are looking for more fun things to do, especially family oriented, affordable things, . . .  remember Puppet Museum days on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month 1-4 pm* ( periodically subject to change due t theater matinees -please feel free to call ahead if you are travelling a distance- 435-723-0740 or 435-730-2487)   We are grateful to the Utah Division of Arts and Museums for helping us with several upgrades  which have assisted us in  really dressing up  the museum.   The museum is also open to visitors and community groups by appointment, including classroom and field trip workshops.
PUPPET STORY TIME: Offered during the school year on the 2nd Friday of the Month from 9:30 to 10:30 am.  This is geared to 3-5 year olds accompanied by an adult and includes a small craft activity.  This puppet time includes puppets, games, pre-reading activities, and music. There is a suggested donation of $1 per child  doing  craft for this activity. Under the direction of Joyce Dean

MUSIC TIME:Offered during the school year on the 4th Friday of the Month from 9:30 to 10:30 am.  This is geared to 2-5 year olds accompanied by an adult and includes a small craft activity.  This music  time includes puppets, games, pre-reading activities, and music. There is a suggested donation of $1 per child  doing  the craft for this activity. Under the direction of Janet Johnston.
OPEN MIKE NIGHT  is  once a month. This is often the second Saturday of the month, but occasionally has had to be backed up to the third Saturday.  We periodically offer a pre-Open Mic concert at 6 pm.   Check the Open Mike  Night page for details. Persons interested in performing may do so when the doors open at 7 pm. We have some great jazz piano and guitar regulars and all performers can have their performance burned on a CD.  Audience only members are encouraged to donate $2 and performers are free. Light refreshments served.
Music in the City - monthly, the third  Friday night October, November and January  thru May   The concerts have  been a  series of fantastic and inspiring talent   See side bar  link under events for more details.


For 16 years our programs have been driven by volunteers- as programs  grow we are looking for  more volunteers- and at this point funding for a volunteer coordinator.  We estimate 20-30 % of our clientele live on minimal incomes, qualifying for community services, but also enlightened and encouraged by arts programs that promote  creativity and  community involvement.  We also currently have no fee for 4 of our teen programs now involving over 60 students.  Your donation can make a  big difference.  


When you donate to charitable organizations, if they give you a choice, we would like to recommend that you designate at least a portion of the funds to local entities. Many times funds will  be sent to other locations perceived as having greater "need",   even other states.  Although we appear to be a great middle class community, we have some significant local needs here, too, with over 4000  people living below the poverty level,  and a high percentage of  other low income families.  Your local support is needed and appreciated in helping to meet those needs. Our Fine Arts Center here in Brigham City , with all its summer camps and  after-school scholarships and free teen programs can use your help, too.      

We appreciate United Way of Northern Utah for hearing out our concerns and helping us out with a significant grant for after school teen activities starting  February of 2016. They have helped us make a greater difference for teens here locally already !!  Huzzah!!*    ( *Old English for  thanks and hurray)

Please, please, please  also see our full list of sponsors who all have helped make our programs possible.  We especially thank other  recent major sponsors- Boeing Employees Community Foundation Fund, Brigham City's Community Collaboration Initiative, The Marie Eccles Caine Foundation/Russell Family,  Brigham City Kiwanis and  Brigham City Rotary.

More about the Fine Arts Center:

 PHILOSOPHY: Along with serving the community with arts activities, one of our underlying goals is  to promote and develop art appreciation, respect for others, and  leadership skills in students who participate. We also want to inspire them with an  excitement for creativity and learning. We hope that every child and adult who passes through our doors comes away with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and a desire to learn more  and serve others. 

FUNDING: Thanks to some regular supporters and donors, we have done well over the past 17 years. We are your Art Center and welcome class ideas and suggestions as well as individuals and groups who would help sponsor additional programs and scholarships. We have kept class fees to a bare minimum and offered scholarships over the years and  hope to be able to continue to do so.  Anyone or group wanting to earmark their donations to one of the funding opportunities listed below is also warmly welcomed. ( All donors are listed on our website Home page, in any printed programs and on our annual designer donor poster. )  


1. Puppetry/ literacy workshops in schools: This  year we offered 8 puppet making workshops for first through fourth graders. The third grade puppet project was the largest of these. We thank the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation/ Russell family for  the major portion of support to make this happen- matching school donations have dwindle with new school policies. We have been able to keep these going with volunteer help but you could make a difference for giving more students the opportunity.  Supplies for school projects usually costs us  $600 to $1000  per year.    Would you consider a donation of $40 per classroom to help keep this  project going ?

2. Community Art days:   Spring break Art and Science Day,  a summer puppet festival,  Fall  and  Halloween specials,  and a Christmas gift making day.    Events for these days  usually consist of a puppet show, games, storytelling, interactive science projects, few art/craft activities, and food fun.  We have had 50  to 80 people for such events in the past.   Our cost is about $250-$300 beyond what is collected  as a token fee at the door.  The cost  includes promotional flyers ,  set up time,  light refreshments,  coordination of  volunteers or youth staff, craft supplies,etc.  Normally we have asked $2 per person , $5 per family, or donation of  canned goods to share with the community pantry.  More people come if the events are free or on a voluntary donation basis.  We also have joined forces with other community non-profit entities to offer other  art related activities- ie Night Out Against Crime in August  and a kids art space for a community Fair  in January or February.

3. Puppet shows:  guest performers or in-house formal shows on Friday afternoons. $70 - $500 per show. 

4. Environmental show:  We have a formal 45 minute puppet show and activity promoting an anti-litter, "leave no trace" presentation ( with great reviews).   It costs us a minimum of $150 to present this, but most schools and community programs can't afford more than $50.   ( Donations of $50 to  $100 a show would make it possible for us to share this more)   

5. Youth Gift Making Day:  (second weekend in December)  $200 to help cover supplies and organizational planning/ publicity. 

6. Scholarships: Additional donations  help provide scholarships to students unable to afford class fees and  are also appreciated.

 Donations not earmarked for any of the items  above, would be divided among all of our programs as needed. 
We are a federally recognized 501C(3) nonprofit organization and welcome your tax deductible donations!
Please click HERE to make a donation!

We listed a lot of these above, but we can't thank enough all the people, organizations, foundations, and companies that have made our programs possible. We especially want to thank the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation, Russell Family for their consistent help over the years.  They have made so much of our community and school outreach youth programming possible and have given us the ability to offer scholarships for afterschool classes and summer camps so that no child has to feel left out. 
We are grateful to the Utah Division of Arts and Museums who have been awesome to  support several of our World of Puppetry museum upgrades as well as help us with overseeing a significant number of  our community arts projects and  classes.   We also thank Box Elder County Commissioners and the Tourism Advisory Board and a fantastic group of dedicated instructors who put in more than 110% as they work to make this a great community and a great community program.  Thank-you, too, to everyone who has helped donate supplies or volunteered their services. Every big or little bit helps!

If you want to really help, have a say in what kind of Art experiences we offer, and make a difference here in the community, please consider applying for a position on our Fine Arts Board. We meet the 2nd Monday  evening of each month. Call the Fine Arts Center office for more information (435-723-0740) . 

Yours Sincerely, 
Susan Neidert

            We are a grassroots 501 c (3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and providing  fine arts opportunities for youth and families in the community.