Executive Director Stepping Down Due to Health Concerns

March 10, 2021 | | 2 Comments

Press Release

For Release March 10, 2021 – 2:00pm

Crested Butte Center For The Arts
Contact: Leigh Mundy, Board Chair

Center For The Arts Executive Director Leaving Position Due To Health Concerns

Crested Butte, CO – Scott Palmer, the recently appointed Executive Director of the Crested Butte Center for the Arts, has announced his departure from the position due to ongoing health concerns, effective March 19, 2021. Palmer, who began his work with CFTA 6 months ago, contracted COVID in early January and, after a serious three-week illness, has ongoing health issues that require him to move to a lower altitude.

“As with so many other people in Crested Butte that contracted COVID, it really did a number on my lungs,” said Palmer.  “We all know people who moved to a lower altitude to help with their breathing and oxygen levels and that is exactly what I am facing right now.” Palmer will be returning to his hometown of Hillsboro, Oregon where he can recover near family, and where he will have easier access to medical treatment and respiratory therapy.

Palmer will continue to assist Center staff and Board after his departure, remotely, on a part-time basis, to ensure that ongoing activities, fundraising, and programming at the Center are uninterrupted.

“I have to focus on my health and my recovery, which could take ten months or longer,” Palmer said. “The Board, staff and I have accomplished so much in the short time that I’ve been here, and I am absolutely devastated I can’t stay here physically to lead the team through the coming challenges and successes. I have to get healthy, and I am better able to do that at sea level, near my family, and in a place with more immediate access to health care services.”

“We are so grateful to Scott not only for his enormously successful leadership in the past six months, but also for his offer to continue advising and supporting our work remotely,” said Leigh Mundy, CFTA’s Board Chair. “Everyone on the Board agrees his time with us has put the Center back on track. We have money in the bank, we are slowly growing back our staff, paying off debt, we have new partnerships with other arts non-profits, new policies, and more robust procedures. We have achieved a lot under Scott’s leadership, and we all feel confident about the Center’s future. Now, he has to go home and get healthy.”

Palmer will leave his full-time role as Executive Director on March 19th and will depart Crested Butte for Oregon a few days later. His remote, part-time work for the Center will begin in early April. The Board of the Center will begin a search for a new Executive Director promptly.

“Working together with this amazing staff and Board has been a highlight of my career,” said Palmer. “Together, we have lifted the Center up and have taken some giant steps down the road to success, even in the face of this horrible pandemic. I hope everyone who loves the Center, and Crested Butte, continues to support this truly unique and valuable institution. I will be helping and cheering you all on from the sidelines, true, but I know the Center is destined for great things with your continued support.”


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Reader Interactions


    • Scott Palmer says

      Hi Mindy,

      Well, that’s just a sad way to think about this! I’m sorry you think that the Center has daunting money issues and that our Board is of poor quality. Let me see if I can help set you straight on a couple of things as we definitely don’t want this community to share this perspective in error.

      First: Since I arrived here as the ED six months ago, the staff, Board and I have worked extremely hard to address the ongoing financial impacts of both COVID and some of the debt we incurred as a result of the Capital Campaign. I am pleased to say that, in that short period of time, we have:

      – Raised just over $2 million in operating support and debt retirement contributions
      – We have bank balances that ensure operating support funding for the next 16 months
      – We recently received a major grant from Colorado Creative Industries for COVID relief, and are expecting a federal grant award in the neighborhood of $500,000 within the next few months, both of which will provide ongoing support for our operations
      – Of our $4.5 million goal for “Ready + Able” we have $1.9m left to raise, which is a huge accomplishment and clearly shows support for our work from a wide range of donors
      – We recently hired a full time Finance Director, a Facilities Manager, and are bringing on a Grant Writer and an Events Manager in April to assist staff with the growing demands at the Center

      Let me assure you, the Center for the Arts is in a very, very strong financial position. In fact, I would say our finances would be considered “strong and healthy” at any time, but during a global pandemic, we are ROCKING it…with the support, of course, of our amazing and generous donors!

      Second, our Board has worked tirelessly for the last 18 months to do everything in their power to protect the Center, to secure its future, and to support the staff in our hard work. Our board is made up of a wide range of folks: lawyers and insurance brokers, internationally acclaimed artists and expert communication professionals, financial analysts and real estate agents. They are a mix of life-long CB residents, full time folks who moved here more recently, second home owners and supporters who live in Gunnison. They are all donors to the Center, they serve on multiple Board committees, and are incredibly generous with their time, resources, advice, and energy. This is a great Board, and we are excited to invite more people to join the Board from even more diverse backgrounds in the coming weeks and months.

      If the implication of your post is that I am leaving my position because of our “daunting money issues” and “poor quality of our Board,” I can tell you, without hesitation, that you are just simply wrong.

      I’m sick and need to get better. That’s the beginning and end of that story.

      I would be happy to speak with you more, or provide you with additional information, but sadly you provided us with a fake email address so I don’t have any way to reach out. If you would like to know more, please contact me at I will continue to work for this amazing organization, from a distance, for the next few months, so would be happy to answer any legitimate concerns you might have.


      Scott Palmer
      Proud Executive Director
      Crested Butte Center for the Arts

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