If you’re planning to make a year-end gift to a local charity, giving to the Price Center is a great way to give back to the entire community. Financial gifts help sustain operations, repair equipment, and/or help underwrite any number of the Center’s ongoing free programs, including seven dance classes offered each week, regular musical performances, art activities, workshops and more.
Since the early 2000's, the Greater San Marcos Area Seniors Association (GSMASA) has operated the Center as a non-profit, low-cost, no-cost community center that is now a major downtown hub for public and private events focused on celebrating the cultural and performing arts of San Marcos and beyond
“Selfless gifts of time and money have been at the heart of the Price Center’s operation since its inception,” said Clay DeStefano, executive director. “From the initial donation of the building over 20 years ago to almost $1 million in donated services, goods, furnishings and time since, today’s Price Center only exists because of the kindness and volunteer efforts of others.”
The Greater San Marcos Area Seniors Association, Inc. (GSMASA) is a 501 (c) 3 that prides itself on meeting a variety of needs of an ever expanding audience of community members young and old, near and far through their unique Center. Daily and weekly classes and monthly activities are offered in the Center’s historic 1910 Room, 1893 Chapel, Garden Room, Multi-Purpose Room, and front Garden, and each of the same venues also provides the community with an affordable and accessible event center to host its private and public events in downtown San Marcos.
Efforts to diversify dues paying supporters, attendees to its various functions, and private renters of the facility have blossomed this past year. A partnership with the San Marcos School District has helped bring in children’s visual art, dance and music celebrating a variety of cultures throughout the year. TXST’s Alpha Psi Omega presented an alternative staging of “Romeo & Juliet featuring two female leads. The Indigenous Cultures Institute hosted a pop-up art show in the spring, the San Marcos Cinema Club hosted its third annual Lost River Film Festival with a diverse and provocative assortment of films in October, Live Oak Living Center hosted a fall pop-up art show featured works by people with cognitive disabilities, and a November fashion show put on by TXST’s Fashion Merchandising Association showcased the San Marcos style with an incredibly inclusive group of models -- representing all body types, gender identities, race, ethnicity and fashion choices.
In addition, two new collaborations between the Price Center and Centro Cultural produced a free 6-week Spanish Language and Dance class over the summer and a free 6-week Survival Spanish class that just wrapped a fall run.
“All of our growth is invigorating and, honestly, a bit overwhelming,” confesses DeStefano. “The increased traffic has added to our already high costs of operating, maintaining and repairing the Center, which includes two former sanctuaries -- both over 100 years old.”
The entire community has benefited equally through expanding and ongoing access to free and/or low-cost culturally diverse and personally enriching activities at the Price Center.
“Ask our 50-60-70-80-and-90-something-year-old dancers, quilters, artists, performers, and Tai Chi and Yoga followers and they’ll tell you how important the Price Center is,” says DeStefano. “And now, if you ask a six-year-old artist, or and 10-year-old dancer or a twenty-something aspiring singer, actor or model, they’ll tell you how special the place is too,” he adds with a smile.
As a non-profit, the Center funds its operation through annual dues from members of the GSMASA, private donations, grants, and revenues generated from the rental of various venues by private individuals, businesses and organizations.
If you’re considering a year-end donation to a local non-profit or charity, the Price Center wants to remind you that no gift is too small or too large and any gift gives back to the San Marcos community directly. Potential donors are encouraged to check with their tax specialist regarding deducting a donation. Learn more by visiting price-center.org, and clicking on “Donate/Make Payment” button to make your contribution. You may also drop off or mail a check made out to Price Center to 222 W. San Antonio St., San Marcos, TX 78666.
Pictured here (clockwise) are a number of highlights from the past year, including; 12th Night Ball crowning local Mardi Gras Royalty, a fancy hat from the annual Tea & More, a first-time Easter egg hunt participant, Ballet Folklorico dancers from area schools, an Indigenous Art display, a six-year-old artist and his work, dancers from the Price Time Dancers holiday show, and performers from the summer production of "Childsplay."