Arts Garage Advocating For Diversity In All Aspects Of Cultural Arts Venue

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By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor

From programming to who Delray’s Arts Garage employs, the focus is on diversity.

With jam sessions, open mic night and main stage performances, the nonprofit performing arts venue is looking to attract a diverse range of people when it comes to age, race, income level and interests by offering an array of programs.

President and CEO Marjorie Waldo said the goal is to connect the community to the world through arts and to do it broadly.

“We want to blur any line that divides us as a community,” she said. “I heard people say, ‘I have walked by a hundred times and I didn’t know that was a place for me.’”

She said the concept of diversity begins with her staff. Employees range in age from young professionals to seniors. They have different cultural backgrounds and can offer different perspectives in planning programming and exhibits at the cultural arts venue.

To show that the Arts Garages has something for everyone, she said she started forming relationships and partnerships with different community groups. That way she could find out what people wanted to see the Arts Garage do.

She has brought in a gospel performance, drag shows, family reading events and different jam sessions and open mic nights that attract all types of artistic people, both performers and spectators.

Favorite jazz and blues acts will remain in the line-up, but Waldo said she is looking to book other musical genres like country, hip hop and rock.

Budding artists featured in the emerging artists Grassroots Gallery come from different backgrounds and different artistic mediums.

“We want to know what the community wants,” she said.

To continue to provide a wide range of shows, galleries and programs, the Arts Garage is holding its Annual Campaign this month.

Waldo said the goal is to raise $50,000, which the nonprofit will then use to invest into community programs.