In 1994, a group of teachers got together and rented a building on Grand Avenue next door to The Diner Restaurant (now the home of Coldwell Banker Real Estate). The teachers decided to name the business the Blue Sage Dance and Movement Center and began offering classes in yoga, tai chi and dance, as well as massage therapy sessions. This also became the venue for the annual Paonia Holiday Arts Festival.
Music became a part of the Center with the introduction of an open stage called the Sage Stage. In 1996, the two-story Historic Curtis Hardware building became available to rent, and the Blue Sage moved to their new location at 228 Grand Avenue. A non-profit corporation was formed in that same year, and IRS tax-exempt status achieved.
Over the next few years, classes continued to be the main offering at the Blue Sage, with an occasional folk concert, and the annual Paonia Holiday Arts Festival in December. All classes and events took place on the main floor - a family lived in the upstairs apartment. Blue Sage staff consisted of a part-time manager.
In 1998 the name of the organization was changed to the Blue Sage Center for the Arts. In that same year, the owner of the building decided to sell it and offered the Blue Sage first opportunity. The board members of the Blue Sage Center organized a Capital Campaign to raise the necessary $225,000.
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