For nearly 50 years, the Hays Arts Council has enriched the lives of Hays residents, and those in surrounding areas, introducing generations of Western Kansans to the visual, performing arts and music programs through innovative, hands-on programs.
The Hays Arts Council incorporated in October of 1967, after Mr. Vivian Meckel, owner of Hays Music Company, introduced legislation in the Kansas Legislature to establish and fund the Kansas Cultural Commission. The Hays Arts Council (HAC) became the first arts council in the state.
The role of the Hays Arts Council has changed dramatically since its inception -- from simply a supporter of cultural events planned and sponsored by other community organizations, to an active sponsor of annual events enriching the cultural atmosphere of our region. Today, events like the Five-State Photography Exhibition, Smoky Hills Art Exhibition, four seasonal Arts Walks, live musical productions and more bring thousands of visitors to Hays each year. Generations of Hays schoolchildren have participated in the popular “Famous Figures” program, and HAC’s Creative Writing program draws hundreds of entries each year from students in Ellis County and surrounding areas.
It is indisputable that fostering and encouraging the arts has made our community a better place to live. Through the careful stewardship of HAC’s Staff and volunteer 12-member Board of Directors, we’re well positioned to continue and grow these programs for another 50 years.
“Empowering the Arts” will help HAC slash its single largest non-program overhead cost, freeing up more funds for vital arts programs in our community, while helping the environment. Your tax-deductible* gift will foster an arts council that is more sustainable, more efficient and more capable of continuing programs that provide “arts to all” decades into the future.