The Woodward Arts and Theatre Council has kicked off its annual membership drive.

“We just sent out our first batch of letters,” said T. Z. Wright, executive director for the council.

Another batch of letters will be sent out soon, he said, noting that the drive will continue for the next few weeks.

The membership drive is an important fundraiser for the council, Wright said, explaining that membership dues make up approximately a third of the council’s entire budget.

So without collecting dues, the council wouldn’t be able to do a third of what it does.

However, Wright said he understands “there may be a lot of people that don’t know what the council does.”

“The council is a non-profit organization whose stated purpose is encouraging and correlating activities dedicated to the promotion of cultural arts in Woodward and the surrounding areas,” he said.

The council achieves these goals in two main ways, Wright said. The first is by “providing education and entertaining programming throughout the year,” he said.

This programming includes the annual summer arts camp for children aged eight to eighteen, Wright said, noting that this year’s camp is scheduled for July 28 to August 1.

As part of the camp, he said, “kids get to experience a wide rang of activities across several different art disciplines from painting to dance to music and drama.”

Another upcoming program is the western arts show, which will be held July 18 and 19 at the Josie Adams Cultural Center in conjunction with the Woodward Elks Rodeo, Wright said.

Other programming includes the Missoula Children’s Theater held in October, an anniversary show in November, a special concert in February, and a spring arts roundup usually held in March, he said.

The second is by managing and operating the Woodward Arts Theater building and Josie Adams Cultural Center, he said.

By managing the theater and cultural center, the council can not only provide the aforementioned programming, but can also allow other organizations to provide their own programming, Wright said.

This includes productions from local theater group On Stage Woodward, he said, noting that the group will be holding auditions in July for an upcoming play called “An Evening of Culture: Faith County 2.”

“The theater and cultural center are used for a variety of events,” Wright added. “We have everything from wedding receptions to city organizational meetings to beauty pageants to corporate functions.”

All these programs improve the quality of life in Woodward, he said.

“Having good entertainment and educational opportunities is so important in so many ways,” Wright said.

Having cultural opportunities is also an important factor in economic development, he said, noting that people “need to have a well rounded life.”

Supporting these programs and helping improve the quality of life in Woodward is as easy as “returning the membership card and writing a check,” Wright said.

He noted that membership dues start at $25 for an individual membership and $35 for a family membership with prices going up from there.

By paying their dues, members can “look forward to continued improvement and dedication to the arts in Northwest Oklahoma,” Wright said.

Members also get certain additional benefits, he said. These benefits include an invitation to a nice reception before the anniversary show, copies of the council’s quarterly newsletter, and the opportunity to buy tickets in advance before they are available to the general public, he said.

To learn more about becoming a member or get more information about what the Woodward Arts and Theater Council does, contact Wright at the theater office at 256-7120.

“We really appreciate the support that the community gives,” Wright said.

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