by Wilfredo Lacro, Director
Boulder City Hospital Foundation
44th Annual Art In The Park
In 1962 a group of women who were members of the Boulder City Hospital Auxiliary got together to plan a benefit for the Hospital. Many benefits had been held in the past in various forms. Their efforts had always produced a good time, close association and comradeship, but generated few dollars for the amount of work involved.
The idea of an art festival was just a dream among a very few. It appealed to them but none of the women had ever been involved in putting on an art show. Undaunted, they scattered in several different directions seeking information and holding meetings to develop a plan.
They had to decide not only how to do it, but where to do it and when. Anyone in the Boulder City area who had any knowledge of art shows was contacted and pumped for information. It was decided that the best place was the beautiful government parks (as they were known in the past) in the middle of Boulder City. So far a plan was decided, a location was determined. Now the only question was, when?
Mindful that the show was to be held outdoors, a call was made to the weather bureau for statistics on the over-all best weekend from the standpoint of weather in this area. The answer was that the first weekend in October historically had the fewest storms of any kind. The date would be the first Sunday in October. Sunday was chosen because so many of their Las Vegas neighbors took a drive to the lake on Sunday and what better time than right after church for the local people to be a captive audience.
The 44th Annual Art in the Park is coming up this October 7th and 8th. As in the past 44 years, there are enough chores to go around for this big event. In a small town like Boulder City, Art in the Park has grown to be the biggest event of the year. Each year for the last 44 years it has been on a beautiful, mild sunny day.
It is the hard work of the Hospital Auxiliary, Hospital Staff and community volunteers who carry out the “chores” of the show. Everyone who can help comes to set up the area as early as Friday, the day before the show. Hours and hours of setting up booths, lining up the booths, registering hundreds of artists, and being sure that every little detail is covered is the hard work that all these people perform.
All their hard work is worth it because beginning Saturday morning when the first visitor steps off the shuttle, they open their eyes to one of the best art shows on the West Coast.
Boulder City Hospital has a past as old as Art in the Park. As Teddy Fenton stated in her story in the 1987 Art in the Park Program Book:
“On April 8, 1954, the bold headlines on the front page of Morry Zenoff’s Boulder City News was ‘Citizens Group Takes Over Hospital on Apri1 5.’ It almost sounded like a tale of derring-do bandits converging on quiet little Boulder City. Our population lingered around 4,000 persons, we were aware that it was “up to us” to save the hospital for the government has issued a closing date, the annual loss ran to upwards of $50,000. The ‘free ride’ was over and our town reacted with its usual energetic belief that our citizens could handle any situation when the urgency of the moment was impressed upon them.”
It was this campaign, which allowed the community to purchase the Hospital from the Government for $15,000, that saved Boulder City Hospital. Boulder City Hospital is now owned by the community, and is and always will be their Community Hospital.
Today the Hospital sees financial challenges with technology growing at a rapid speed, and new hospitals being built in neighboring Las Vegas. It is events such as Art in the Park that help the Hospital raise funds for its capital needs.
Hundreds of artists socializing with thousands and thousands of visitors, kids romping around on a warm sunny day, and visitors from all over the country enjoying a day of Boulder City’s culture. That is what Art in the Park is all about. The show has grown so much that the Boulder City Hospital Auxiliary has passed on the coordination of the show to the Boulder City Hospital Foundation. Art in the Park is an event that brings together everyone in the community to enjoy great art, great food, great company and most importantly it benefits the Community Hospital.
For more information about Art in the Park or Boulder City Hospital, please contact Wilfredo Lacro at (702) 294-5725 or visit www.artinthepark.org and www.bouldercityhospital.org.