In 1985 a determined group of Crested Butte residents converted a county maintenance garage into a community arts center. Today, that same building has been pushed beyond its capacity to try to fulfill the changing cultural needs of the community.
Over the last thirty years, the local population has doubled, and there has been tremendous growth in the number of events presented, the size of audiences, and the number and variety of educational programs provided by the Center for the Arts and its partner organizations. Two community organizations, the Crested Butte School of Dance and Crested Butte Mountain Theatre, inspired the creation of the Center for the Arts. Today, twelve community groups utilize and benefit from the Center. Less than 8,000 people attended Center events in 1985, while last year over 40,000 people attended over 650 events, positively impacting the local economy by more than $3 million.
Building in the heARTS of Crested Butte is the Center's capital campaign for an expanded community arts complex to support the performing, visual, culinary and literary arts. Phase 1 is the new, larger building. In Phase II, the Center's original building will be renovated into an Arts Education Center. Phase III, a larger, modernized outdoor stage, will complete the project.