Why Crested Butte?

Why was Crested Butte Chosen to be a Colorado Creative District?

In June 2016, Crested Butte was officially designated a Colorado Creative District. READ THE PRESS RELEASE

Crested Butte has been a magnet for artists for many years, and the beauty of the natural landscape is unparalleled. It is a place of inspiration that attracts creative people with an entrepreneurial spirit. The Crested Butte Creative District encompasses the historical district of Elk Avenue and extends to the Center for the Arts, the primary community arts center surrounded by parks space in the center of town.

The district includes 16 artist-owned studios and galleries, 3 co-op galleries, 10 ArtWalk events year-round, and 10 performance venues including independent restaurants, bars, and coffee shops and numerous restaurants hosting exhibitions of local art. The diverse artistic talent includes the more traditional mediums like painting, photography, drawing, and clay to specialized forms like metalwork, hand-blown glass, wood working, and more. Many renowned individual artists call Crested Butte home including award-winning filmmakers and Emmy award-winning television producers, architects, designers, published writers, actors, dancers, musicians, painters, photographers, and chefs. KBUT community radio is a treasured cultural resource with local and national programming.

Crested Butte is home to the Crested Butte Arts Festival, one of the nation’s top arts festivals with over 12,500 people in attendance each year. It features incredible art, fantastic cuisine, exhilarating entertainment, artist and chef demonstrations, children’s activities, and an art auction.

Crested Butte also features the Crested Butte Music Festival, which will hold its 20th annual festival in 2016 with many events taking place in the new Victoria Mirror Palace in Mt. Crested Butte. The Festival regularly features outstanding artists in distinctive genres including opera, symphony, bluegrass, gypsy jazz, and corresponding educational opportunities such as the Crested Butte Opera Studio, the Opera Children's Chorus, the Swallow Hill Music Kids Camp, and, in its second year, the Frank Vignola Guitar Camp.

The Crested Butte Film Festival, celebrating its 6th year in 2016, has experienced a 65% increase in attendance (2013 to 2014), serving over 3,300 patrons during the last weekend in September (2013). The four day festival offers almost 100 events including films, children’s film programs, and director talks to inspire and educate audiences to spark creativity, cultural awareness, and social and environmental change. A monthly film series is also offered throughout the year.

In the summer months, there are literally hundreds of arts and culture events and classes on virtually every day of the week in the Creative District. This creative corridor is continuously buzzing with amazing energy for opportunities for everyone including full-time residents, tourists, and second home owners. The Crested Butte Mountain Theatre is at the end of the proposed Creative District on 2nd Street and has been offering community theater productions since 1972. And the Crested Butte Wine & Food Festival showcases the culinary arts locally and regionally each July. Artists of Crested Butte (formerly Artists of the West Elks) holds ArtWalk events, giving you a chance to stroll through participating member galleries, as well as Crested Butte Art Market, which takes place at the Crested Butte Farmer's Market in the Zero Block of Elk Avenue on Sundays during the summer.

"Creative District certification feels like the next logical step for the Crested Butte community," stated Jenny Birnie, Executive Director of the Center for the Arts. "Over the past ten years, we have experienced unprecedented growth in our programs, festivals, and collaborations and we believe this is a perfect time to take a detailed look at ourselves, develop functional collaborations and stronger communication channels," she added.