WHAT WE DO
The Gold Canyon Arts Council
The Gold Canyon Arts Council was founded in 1998 and presents the Canyon Sounds concert series from November to April each season. Designed to affordably meet the needs of the Eastern end of the Valley of the Sun, the diverse programs range from traditional classical chamber music to ethnic and folk performances with indigenous instruments. Past seasons have featured blues, jazz, and theater as well. Although not associated with the church, performances are held at the Gold Canyon United Methodist Church through a cooperative agreement. The outstanding acoustics of this facility make it an ideal venue for music and theater appreciation.
On the fourth Saturday in January of each year, the Arts Council sponsors the Gold Canyon Arts Festival celebrating the artists and the cultures that define and grace our area. The festival primarily promotes both the visual and performing arts while also facilitating the outreach of other community charitable and service organizations. The festival has become a signature community event since its inception in 2001 drawing more than 4,000 people most years.
The artists performing in the Canyon Sounds concert series also accept the challenge of bringing the fine arts to the youth of communities along the Old West Highway. They conduct workshops, master classes and Informances, which are interactive performances during which the artist(s) discuss the composers of each piece and the historical and cultural settings when the music was composed. The artist(s) also describe their instruments and contrast them with the instruments available to artists of those periods. Interaction with students is a key part of informances, both in terms of encouraging questions and providing opportunities for students to become familiar with the musical instruments played by the artists andabout the composers. These music education activities are carried out in cooperation with Apache Junction, Superior, Miami, Globe, Coolidge, Ray (Hayden), and the San Carlos Apache school districts and with local colleges and universities. The ability to interact with youth in this fashion is a key criterion for artist selection.
Gold Canyon Arts Council Artistic Director Dr. Jack Kukuk served as Director of Education for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., produced festivals and performances across the country and internationally, and came to Arizona as Managing Director of the Festival of the Sun in Tucson. Now a resident of Gold Canyon, Jack is also Executive Director and co-founder of Voices Without Borders and Artistic Director of the Gila Valley Arts Council.
Membership in the Gold Canyon Arts Council is open to anyone who shares our belief that the arts are an important part of community life for people of all ages. We hope you decide to join us in our efforts. Your help, both financially and as a volunteer, is crucial to our mission of enhancing the atmosphere for artistic expression and enjoyment of the fine arts.