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For immediate release:

12:00p.m. – Thursday, October 22, 2020

Three organizations have donated a combined $7,500 to assist Walsenburg’s Museum of Friends in making sure art is accessible to all.

San Isabel Electric, Basin Electric Power Cooperative and CoBank are proud sponsors of the Museum of Friends (MOF). The funds will be used to assist in the construction of a restroom that follows the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The addition will be the last needed to make the building completely ADA accessible.

“The Cooperative model allows San Isabel Electric to make community one of our main focuses. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with other organizations to continually help meet community goals,” said Jacque Sikes, San Isabel Electric Board of Directors President.

For fifteen years, MOF has been dedicated to using art as a tool to educate and create opportunities for the Walsenburg and Huerfano County communities.

The museum hosts events and classes that support education and growth through local partnerships. Programs include those that teach elderly individuals how to work at the museum while making a stipend to accommodate for limited funds provided by social security. In the last three years, classes have been provided as art therapy to adults recovering from substance abuse. At-risk youth are also encouraged to attend art classes to occupy their free time in a safe environment.

“That’s what the museum really is. It is not about highbrow art, it is about involving the community, creating jobs, and creating educational opportunities,” said Maria Cocchiarelli-Berger, museum owner and Executive Director.

The ADA project was launched when Berger realized that the museums guests who are elderly or wheelchair bound could not access both levels of the museum. Today all guests can visit the museum knowing that accommodations are available using the new elevator and soon to be installed, ADA restroom.

Guests can visit the museum to view these new features and explore the new exhibit, COVID-19: Crisis of Opportunity. The show will run now until November 30, 2020. If you are unable to visit the Museum of Friends, a virtual tour is available via the museum website at http://www.museumoffriends.org

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As a not-for-profit cooperative utility, San Isabel Electric provides affordable, reliable electricity with exceptional service to communities throughout southern Colorado. Serving nearly 20,000 member-owners and 24,000 meters, San Isabel Electric has been keeping the lights on since 1938. We don’t just serve communities. We are part of communities.