Seizing the stage for students |

Seizing the stage for students

Kelly Silva

— In a community where performing and visual arts thrive, it seemed insufficient to Christopher Morson that Steamboat Springs did not have a performing arts club for students until now.

Morson recently founded the Carpe Diem Dramatic Arts Fund to promote and provide access to the dramatic arts for young performers.

“It’s a booster club for dramatic arts. Any money we raise is kept by us,” Morson said. “We are now officially part of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.”

The Yampa Valley Community Foundation is the fiscal agent for Carpe Diem and offers administrative support.

Dianna Sutton, president and chief executive officer of the foundation, said the group has not yet asked for funds.

“That allows donors to contribute (to Carpe Diem) and receive a tax reduction,” Sutton said.

Sutton said the Carpe Diem Dramatic Arts Fund is one of more than 70 component donor advised funds at the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.

Morson has promised to match $1 of his own money for every $1 donated to the foundation.

The foundation provides funding for all students in Routt County who would like to pursue interests in dramatic arts.

“The idea is to pull these people together. No one is going to manage this alone. It’s a team effort,” Morson said.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Morson said he was very interested in the dramatic arts but was intimidated by his peers. But life being what it is, Morson said he now has the opportunity to give others the opportunity he never took advantage of.

Although the Steamboat Springs High School has drama class, no budget for the dramatic arts is available for all students in Routt County.

Morson said he realizes the school district is under financial pressure and said he hopes this foundation can create a way for students to be in a positive peer environment and have alternative learning opportunities in the dramatic arts.

“This was a way we could build a channel for kids,” Morson said.

“What I’ve recognized here is a need and I want to contribute,” Morson said.

After the high school’s Friday night performance of “The Wizard of Oz,” Morson said an after party on stage will allow cast members, directors and supporters of Carpe Diem Dramatic Arts Fund to meet.

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