Arts Alliance of the East River Valley


The Arts Alliance, a dynamic coalition of nonprofit visual and performing arts organizations, promotes and advances the arts to enrich, educate and enhance the quality of life in the Upper East River Valley.


We envision the Upper East River Valley as a nationally recognized destination for the arts. The Arts Alliance serves as a vital, unified, and visible resource that fosters unique opportunities and supports world-class facilities for all artists. Similarly, the Arts Alliance expands cultural experiences for the local community as well as adds greater value to the economy of the region.

Participating organizations include and are not limited to Artists of Crested Butte (formerly Artists of the West Elks), Center for the Arts, Crested Butte Mountain Theatre, Crested Butte Music Festival, Crested Butte School of Dance, Gunnison Arts Center, Mt. Crested Butte Performing Arts Center, Trailhead Discovery Museum, Crested Butte Arts Festival, the Crested Butte Dance Collective, Western State College and the Crested Butte Film Festival.

In 2013, Crested Butte was chosen by ArtPlace as one of America’s top twelve small town arts destinations for its high concentration of arts non-profits, core arts-oriented businesses, and workers in creative occupations. In other words, the initiative recognizes smaller communities in the country where the arts are central to creating the kinds of places where people want to live, work, and visit. Deemed by ArtPlace as "art-centric," Crested Butte was described as "A town of less than 1,500 people in mountainous Gunnison County, Colorado...[It] is also home to a robust arts scene throughout the year." In Gunnison County we know our arts actually robustly spread from Gothic to Gunnison. We believe that the collaborative efforts of the Arts Alliance played a strong roll in this ArtPlace recognition.

The Arts Alliance of the East River Valley is comprised of 13 separate arts and cultural organizations throughout Gunnison County. These are the very organizations that provide visitors and residents the opportunity to enjoy music, theatre, dance, film, visual arts, children’s programs, and workshops. Together we are stronger in attracting visitors to the area through our dynamic offerings of art and cultural experiences.

For more information about the Arts Alliance, contact Jenny Birnie at 970-349-7487.