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Cultural ‘void’ filled by Grand County Libraries

There are those who lament the lack of cultural offerings in Grand County.

Of course, it’s true that Grand County isn’t a cultural mecca like Denver or Santa Fe.

But whether it be films, art, continuing education or reading groups, the Grand County Libraries offer many programs to help fill the diminishing cultural void in Grand County.

For instance, Grand County may have only one new-release cinema, in Winter Park, but residents from across the county don’t need to drive to Denver to enjoy a night at the movies.

That’s because the Grand County Libraries create their own cinematic excitement each month by showing films in theatre-like settings at no charge.

At the Granby Library Family Movie Night takes place the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. The offering Dec. 13 is “Tuck Everlasting,” based on the book by Natalie Babbitt. This movie is rated PG.

The Fraser Valley Library also gives film buffs a chance to enjoy good cinema with the Fraser Film Series. Local film aficionado Jeff Arduino presents the film “Intolerable Cruelty” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13. Be prepared to enjoy lively discussions about the film after the showing.

West end residents aren’t left out of the cinematic opportunities offered by the library district either. The movie “Amazing Grace” is being screened in the Kremmling Library at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18. This historical drama is about one man’s role in the battle to outlaw slavery. Snacks are provided. Call 724-9228 for more information.

The Juniper Library at Grand Lake offers its own film at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19, with the movie “Before the Music Dies.” This film, which offers an unsettling and inspiring look at today’s music industry, is sponsored by the Grand County Blues Society. Free refreshments are offered. Screening begins at 6:15 p.m.

While the Grand County Libraries work hard to offer access to movies, they also go the extra mile when it comes to providing cultural programs across the county.

The Fraser Valley Library features an artist every month. December’s featured artist is Justin Randolph, whose work is certainly seasonally and regionally appropriate.

Randolph creates scenes in acrylic on snowboard decks (snowboards without the bindings) and he also builds benches with these snowboard decks. He’s also adept at works in pastels and colored pencil.

Randolph and his work are being featured at an artist’s reception at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20 in the Urban Community Meeting Room at the Fraser Valley Library.

The Granby Library helps fill the cultural offerings in the county with an exhibition in December of collectible dolls by Nancy Young. Seven exquisite figurines are included in the collection. They each show Nancy’s mastery of different mediums covering many centuries. The dolls are engaged in traditional craft and sports activities depicted accurately down to the last detail. For example, “Asbjorn the Cross Country Skier,” from the 1970s, is a polymer clay figurine with hand spun and knit, woolen hat, sweater and socks, with handmade skis and pack.

The Granby Library is also featuring an exhibition of chess pieces. Fran Cassidy has provided his collection of chess sets from around the world. Anyone who enjoys fine handcrafts will be excited to see how widely different cultures have expressed their differences through this ancient game.

A new Kremmling Library quilt project gives quilters across the county a chance to join other quilters to work on a library quilt. Call Glyn Sheppard at the Kremmling Library, (970) 724-9228, for more information. This project begins in 2008.

Educational opportunities for adults and youths outside of the school system are also offered through the Grand County Libraries.

For those who want to learn more about word processing with Microsoft Word can take advantage of a class at Granby Library from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13. This is the first of three free Microsoft Word 2003 courses. Class size is limited so call the Granby Library at (970) 887-2149 to reserve a place.

Those who want to be computer savvy should know about the free one-on-one computer tutorials available at the Fraser Valley Library by appointment. Lessons cover a wide range of topics, from setting up an e-mail account to creating online photo albums, and last 45 minutes to an hour. Learn at your own pace with individual attention. Free. Contact Assistant Librarian Suzie Cruse for an appointment at (970) 726-5689.

There are also cultural learning opportunities for children in the “Check Out the Music” guitar lessons. These are free beginning guitar lessons for all school-aged kids. Taught by Dave Hemphill of the Grand County Blues Society, they are offered at the Kremmling, Granby, Fraser Valley and Juniper at Grand Lake Libraries once a month. Contact your local library or check http://www.gcld.org for details and to reserve a spot. Guitars are available for loan on request. There will not be a lesson in Granby in December.

Along the lines of cultural offerings for children, the Kremmling Library is featuring programs with a Kremmling Christmas theme. The toddler story time, at 10:30 a.m. on Thursdays, Dec. 6 and 13, features a Christmas craft.

There has been a rumor that Santa will be making special appearances at libraries throughout the county in December. Check with the youth services librarians at each library to see when he will be accepting wish-lists at your library.

“Kids Knit” group, also at the Kremmling Library, will have a Christmas Party on Dec. 7. Everyone brings cookies.

Teens in Granby can play Life, Monopoly, Scrabble, Chess or a variety of other games at the Teen’s Third Thursday Program from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, in Teen Central, the teen library in the Granby Library.

Book groups and clubs, offered through the Grand County Libraries, are also an excellent way to enjoy books and meet new people. Call your library for details on the variety of clubs available in Grand County.

So, while Grand County may not be a cultural mecca, it’s easy to see that the Grand County Libraries are reaching out to make sure that your library fills the need for culture in Grand County.

Check it out at your library.


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