Immense popularity has DiFiore Arts Center searching for new home

ST.GEORGE — A local arts organization is the victim of its own success. After four years as a community arts hub, The DiFiore Center for Arts and Education has outgrown its first home and is searching for a larger venue.

“There’s something going on here constantly and we have really just kind of outgrown the space,” Ernie Doose, president and CEO of A.R.T.S. Inc., said. “It’s time to just move on and think bigger and better.”

A.R.T.S. Inc. is a Utah-based nonprofit organization focused on bringing fine-arts programs to elementary-aged children.

But what began as an arts center for children has blossomed into a nexus for more than 20 local arts organizations for all ages including the Southern Utah Puppetry Guild and the St. George Dance Company.

Located in the historic Hafen Home on North Main Street, the center hosts multiple classes and exhibitions in about 3,700 square feet of converted residential space. Doose is working to find a new building with as much as 6,000 square feet. The need for a larger performance space for concerts and theater productions has pushed the search out of St. George and into surrounding communities.

The center houses an art gallery, library, puppet theater and dance studio. The outdoor space is used for events including weddings and club meetings.

The move to a new and hopefully permanent home could take place any time within the next 12 months. Doose said the move is contingent on selling the Hafen Home and finding a proper venue for the center. Doose is confident the transition will be smooth and hopes to find a building with more parking and better visibility all while maintaining the center’s vision.

“Our main goal here was to increase arts awareness and to keep the arts alive,” Doose said. “I mean, unfortunately, with technology, with social media and everything, we’re getting further away from human connection and the arts keep us connected to each other.”

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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