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Five Steamboat Springs arts organizations awarded Colorado Creates grant

If You Go

What: Steamboat Springs Arts Council’s membership meeting

When: 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29

Where: Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St.

— Elevating the stature of arts and culture in Steamboat Springs, five arts organizations were awarded the Colorado Creative Industries Colorado Creates grant through the state’s Office of Economic Development earlier this month.

The recipients include the Strings Music Festival, with $10,000, Emerald City Opera, with $6,500, the Steamboat Art Museum, with $6,500, Friends of Perry-Mansfield, with $8,500, and the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, with $8,500. The funds from this grant are meant to be used for general operating expenses.

If You Go

What: Steamboat Springs Arts Council’s membership meeting



When: 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29

Where: Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St.



“It’s so exciting,” said Kim Keith, executive director of the SSAC. “This certainly aligns us with the Colorado Creative Industries office, because it’s a very intensive application process, and getting approval is sign of looking good in their eyes and is another step towards becoming a Colorado Creative District for sure.”

Colorado Creates is CCI’s largest grant program. The funds are awarded annually through a competitive selection process to support nonprofit, cultural organizations and government agencies.

According to a news release from CCI, 168 grants were awarded in 33 counties across the state, totalling $1,260,500, an increase from the 162 grants last year.

“The state is experiencing healthy growth in the creative economy, due, in large part, to combined state, local and regional efforts to advance support for artists, non-profit arts organizations and creative place-making efforts,” said Margaret Hunt, director of CCI, in the news release. “We applaud the talented and hard-working groups that contribute to our state’s vibrant economy and, just as importantly, to our amazing quality of life. We are glad to support their work with the Colorado Creates grants each year.”

Keith said it’s been a number of years since the SSAC received a grant and that operating out of the 1908 building results in a number of expenses that are not covered through other granting opportunities.

“I think that this is progress, especially with Steamboat Springs becoming a designated Colorado Creative District,” said Jack Dysart, president of the Emerald City Opera. “I think we have had all the elements for it to become one, and now, I think it’s something that could really happen.”

Spearheading efforts in becoming a Colorado Creative District, the SSAC has been working on the two-year application process that involves engaging all sectors of the community. The designation will bring creatives together through state funding, professional development and community support.

Facilitated by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Colorado Creative Industries — formerly the Colorado Council on the Arts — the Colorado Creative District designation is a creative districting program offering communities grant money in addition to professional assistance in marketing and/or networking, depending on need. The ultimate goal of the designation is to spark revitalization, boost local economies, increase tourism and attract creatives.

This year, the SSAC spearheaded advocacy for the arts and culture by implementing more scholarships to low-income, at-risk or underserved populations and re-granting cash to small projects or organizations. It has also facilitated sustainability through Create Space, its clearinghouse for donated art supplies, and fostered collaborations and partnerships that elevate artistic pursuits and the shared goals of the community.

On Oct. 29, at the SSAC’s membership meeting, state representative Diane Mitsch Bush will present a check for the grant. Additional guests at the membership meeting include Bill Marino, chairman of the 40West Arts District in Denver, and Kevin Yoshida, an architect with the ABO Group. The reception will begin at 5 p.m. and will include presentations and updates on the future of the SSAC. The event is free and open to members and potential members.

“We are learning as much as we can to ignite our fires for this [the process in becoming a Colorado Creative District],” Keith said. “It’s very exciting.”

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1


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