Arvada Council for the Arts and Humanities (Arvada, CO)


  Man sitting at a table, at the typewriter, hands at his temples, in obvious stres, while next to him a man standing gesticulates dramatically

Erik Sandvold as David O. Selznick and Jordan Leigh as Ben Hecht in the Arvada Center’s production of Moonlight and Magnolias. Photo by P. Switzer

A fictional interpretation of the behind-the-scenes making of the movie Gone With the Wind, the comedy play Moonlight and Magnolias was the perfect season opener for the Arvada Center, attracting approximately 8,000 theater patrons in its four-week run. In FY 2007, the Arvada Council for the Arts and Humanities received an NEA Challenge America grant of $10,000 to support the center’s production. The Chicago Sun-Times called Moonlight and Magnolias “at once a hyperventilating slapstick comedy, an impassioned love song and a blazing critique of Hollywood.”

The Arvada Center prides itself in showcasing local talent in the Colorado area, and this production was no exception. The center held auditions for the four-person play followed by intense rehearsals. This production’s emphasis on local talent included not just the actors but the technical crew as well. Although the production of Moonlight and Magnolias was a challenge, the center’s technical crew and staff provided audiences with a full night of entertainment.

The Arvada Center offers yearround theater as well as concerts, dance performances, and visual arts exhibits. Additionally, more than 800 classes are offered in a variety of fields, such as writing, ceramics, dance, and acting. Due to the diversity in programming and array of classes offered, the Arvada Center fulfills a unique niche within the cultural community. The theater is the fifth largest in Colorado and their programs reach communities statewide. The Arvada Center is successful because it provides its audience with theater that is inspirational yet entertaining. The production of Moonlight and Magnolias offered a fresh artistic experience for the Arvada community, providing surprising insight into Hollywood life behind the silver screen.

(From the NEA 2007 Annual Report)