Let’s imagine a new couple, two people of long acquaintance who suddenly see each other with fresh eyes, fall in love and agree to wed.

They’re utterly devoted to each other, but there are certain obstacles to their union — as there are in so many late-life marriages.

She’s smart, beautiful and though far from destitute, has certain liquidity problems. The historic family mansion needs a lot of work, especially since it’s crammed full of precious artifacts, artworks and memorabilia. It’s all the property of a complex family trust, with multiple beneficiaries and responsibilities that date back to the early 20th century.

He’s in a similar situation, but his family business — founded nearly 150 years ago — is growing, thriving and extraordinarily liquid.

They’ve known each other for decades and have hundreds of friends in common, one of whom acted as their matchmaker. The wedding is supposed to take place in the near future, but no date has been set.

Why? Because the lawyers are busy drawing up the pre-nuptial agreement.

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You know the couple: The Fine Arts Center and Colorado College.

Both the FAC Board and the CC Board have approved the merger of the iconic institutions, and now attorneys representing both are hammering out the marriage contract.

Are there any potential roadblocks to the deal?

Apparently not, according to one knowledgeable source.

“There’s a fundamental set of tenets that needs to be translated into a legal document,” the source said, “They’ll be working on the operational structure, on language to assure that the Fine Arts Center’s community mission remains intact and that protects the FAC’s long-range sustainability.”

Yet although the merger/acquisition is virtually certain to go forward, there are still details that must be worked out.

  • Who’s the boss? Will the two entities retain separate boards with decision-making power, or will the FAC board become a de facto community advisory board, with limited authority?
  • Who stays, who goes? Consolidating the two entities may create cost savings, and some of those savings may come in the form of job cuts — always a painful process.
  • What about the past? As the FAC’s glorious past vanishes from living memory, will future curators be less attached to/respectful of that history? And will that hasten the day when the FAC will be just another building on the CC campus, albeit one with a mildly interesting past?

We assume that those details — just like marital prenuptial agreements — are being dealt with by attorneys for both groups.

But for now, the community should celebrate the marriage of the FAC and CC — it’s a match made in heaven.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Cool article, John. It’s about time someone started talking about this….Kind of a big deal! Thanks for covering!

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