Published February 18, 2019
A couple weeks ago, the Fine Arts department at Dodge City Community College reached out to the DC3 Foundation for some help updating facilities and equipment.
The Foundation responded and almost immediately found an anonymous donor who gave two brand new leather couches for the department’s new makeshift lounge on the second floor of the Fine Arts building.
The effect of the new additions has been immediate.
“The space lets students work together or just socialize in a spot that’s their own,” Kuplic said. “They are just overjoyed to have this beautiful furniture. It makes this space so much more comfortable and inviting. I honestly haven’t seen them this excited before.”
Since being converted from a couple of small rehearsal rooms by Fine Arts staff, the lounge has been heavily utilized by students. The previous furniture was several decades old and was already tattered and rickety when it was put in, so while the room was used significantly almost out of necessity, it wasn’t the most comfortable spot to meet for rehearsals or wait for classes.
“We wanted just a small space for students to unwind and relax,” Kuplic said. “As soon as we finished it was being used. They’re in there pretty much all hours of the day.”
Greg Goff, Major Gifts Chairman for the Foundation, was also instrumental in arranging upgrades to the Conq Corral in the DC3 Student Union, and said he’s glad to be helping improve the student experience at his alma mater.
“The college doesn’t have a lot of places for kids go between classes or meet their friends,” Goff said. “I think there needs to be spots like this all around campus for kids to be able to hang out. It’s no good to keep them clogged up in the dorms.”
The lounge project is the beginning of a much larger effort to update the current outdated, utilitarian surroundings and equipment for Fine Arts department.
Fine Arts division chair Kerry Kuplic said the department is looking to make the facilities a bit more conducive to creativity and artistic expression. The current surroundings are pretty austere – plain white walls, bare wood trim, and linoleum floors that shout more pragmatic institutionality than creative inspiration.
The biggest push is likely to be improvements to the DC3 Little Theater. The college uses the space for instrumental and vocal performances, as well as a meeting and lecture space. Dozens of community groups utilize the facility for performances and seminars, with hundreds of visitors passing through year-round.
“Some things aren’t quite where they need to be to really showcase the talents of our students,” Kuplic said. “Lots of community groups utilize the Little Theater as well, so we think it could really use some upgrades.
“The theater hosts so many people from the community, so in many ways this is very much a public face of the college.”
The department reached out to the Foundation for help with desired upgrades. Director Christina Haselhorst said the Foundation is here to fill as many needs as it can.
“The Foundation wants to help the college flourish. These departments have a vision for their programs, but some programs can’t grow without the help of very generous donors.”
The lounge project is the latest occasion of the Foundation responding to requests from campus. The rodeo team recently reached out to the Foundation for improvements to facilities and equipment, and Haselhorst and her crew are utilizing the Foundation’s resources to help identify potential benefactors.
“This is a small, easy fix the Foundation was able to help with,” Haselhorst said, “but it is by no means the last one. We’ve got a lot of plans and a long way to go.”
By Scott Edger