Sakakawea Area Council for the Arts is devoted to all forms

One of the many things the Sakakawea Area Council for the Arts does is keep the Kota Theater in Garrison running and full of things for the community to enjoy. Submitted Photo

Every town needs arts, whether it be a movie theater, a play, or an art show. In Garrison, the Sakakawea Area Council of the Arts has been working hard to keep the arts in the town and surrounding areas.

In 1987, a group of people gained money that was raised from a city play and made the decision to put it toward a council that focused on the arts. They did what they could to become official, working to do the required things to become a non-profit, and so SACA was started.

“It was also named the Sakakawea Area because they didn’t want it to just be Garrison, but all of the surrounding area near the lake,” said Cyndy Robinson, the organization’s president.

According to Robinson, SACA focuses on seven different areas in the arts. A few of those areas include theater, film, visual arts, music, and literature. Each area has a committee that is devoted to bringing art to the area. Each committee has either a single chair or two chairs that share the responsibilities and decision making.

They work hard to bring a variety of things to Garrison to be enjoyed. Every year they put on a Charles Dickens play during their annual Dickens Festival, they offer visual arts and other art classes, and gallery displays.

In 1988, SACA was gifted the Kota Theater in Garrison. After remodeling it in time for their centennial. With the theater, they were able to move their plays from the auditorium to there.

“The Kota Theater was always a movie theater. To get it so it could be used for plays as well, the first few rows of seats were taken out to make space and a stage was added,” Robinson said.

The stage is regularly used for musicians, musical performances, plays, children’s theater plays, and much more. Whenever it is needed, they simply close the curtains on the screen for the movies and it is ready for the artist or for a set to be prepared.

When it is not being used for the stage, the Kota Theater is open on Friday and Saturday, offering a new movie every weekend it is open. With offering a new one every weekend, it means there will always be a movie for someone at some point with movies from children’s to super heroes to romantic comedies.

Along with a range of movies, the theater works to keep their prices affordable with adult tickets costing only $5 and kids costing $4.

“The theater is really all run by volunteers,” said Robinson.

Without the volunteers, the theater wouldn’t be able to run. All money that is generated from the theater is used to pay for the building and any others used for SACA.

“All the money goes to help the activities going and keep our scholarship we offer for high schoolers available,” said Robinson.