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Guest essay: Elliot Moore, Culture matters

Culture is the story of us.

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Culture matters in Longmont because the people of Longmont matter. Culture is the story of us. Arts events create a shared experience that strengthens community bonds, fosters new connections, and reinforces our collective identity. 

As the conductor of the Longmont Symphony Orchestra (LSO), let me express how grateful we are to have Stewart Auditorium and Vance Brand Civic Auditorium (VBCA) as possible concert venues. I cannot imagine where the orchestra — or culture in Longmont — would be without these venues. At the same time, Stewart Auditorium is too small for us — both in audience capacity and stage size.

Regarding Vance Brand Civic Auditorium at Skyline High School, the joint operation between the city of Longmont and our school district expired on July 1, 2010, shortly after the 30-year joint operating agreement came to an end. The school district has full control of this space, which is wonderful for students. Indeed, it has fostered greater demand for the arts, which creates the need for a dedicated performance venue. There is no doubt; The LSO is exceptionally fortunate to have access to Vance Brand Civic Auditorium. However, since the school district’s activities take precedence, challenges have increased for performing artists and organizations to access and schedule the space.

What I, along with my colleagues at the Longmont Performing Arts Initiative envision, is the creation of a beautiful arts and event center that fosters shared experiences for people of all ages and backgrounds, reflects our collective experience, celebrates our greatness, and elevates our community experience. From Beethoven to Willie Nelson and TED Talks to Hamilton, cultural icons who reflect and enhance our community will perform in this center because our stories deserve to be shared and brought to life in a space that expresses the greatness of who we are. 


Elliot Moore, 

Music Director & Conductor, Longmont Symphony Orchestra