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Cultural Center Hopes New Fence Will Increase Cash Flow, Create Better Event Space

The sounds of power tools filled the plaza of the Cortez Cultural Center Friday as builders Rick and Lenore Kremen installed pieces of rough-sawn pine logs along the sidewalk bordering Market Street.

The Cultural Center has been installing a fence around its courtyard for the past few weeks, and it is expected to be complete by the end of the month. The Cultural Center’s board of directors made the decision to erect the fence last November, says Holly Tatnall, one of the Center’s board members. She said its woven-wood design was inspired by a fence at the Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, and the diagonal logs were inspired by Scandinavian architecture. The fence cost approximately $15,000, with the money raised by members of the board and an anonymous donor.

Tatnall said the fenced space will be able to be reserved for private events such as weddings or family reunions, and that one of the main motivations to install the fence was to give the Center a source of cash flow beyond donations and merchandise.

Becky Levy, the new director of the Cultural Center, says that in addition to revenue, the new plaza will help designate the space. “I think that people would appreciate a fence, and that’s what this venue would have as opposed to City Park where there are no fences,” she said.

Sensa Wolcott, event coordinator for the Cultural Center, added that the fence could also provide a physical barrier to the outside. She said, “It just creates a cozier space. You don’t want to get married with cars driving by next to you, so it kind of creates a nice atmosphere as well.”

They said the dances and Old West shows the Center holds in the summer will still be still free and open to the public. The board is working on establishing a fee structure for private events.

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