Breckenridge is already well known as an outdoor recreation destination, but town leaders are working to make the town noted as an artistic mecca as well.
In the last weekend of September, the town will officially unveil its new arts district.
The town hired Barnhart Communications, the same firm that helped design GoBreck, to create an image or brand identity for the new district.
“We are working to create a symmetry between the brands of the Breckenridge Cultural Arts District and GoBreck,” said Sandy Schest with Barnhart Communication. “Our goal is for visitors to Breck and locals to enjoy a complete creative experience, and to see that Breck offers more than outdoor recreation.”
But the outdoors and elements of nature continue to play a key role, even in the arts district.
“Growing up as a kid in a small town in Wyoming, I’d go spend two weeks in the summer with my mom in France taking in the Louvre,” said Lonnie Anderson, creative director with Barnhart. “Then I’d come back home and spend two weeks at the headwaters of the Wyoming River with my dad. That background has made me perfect for a project like this.”
The project involved putting a face, or brand, on the new arts district. Barnhart created the term “BreckCreate” to describe the district, which is part of a movement to transform Breckenridge into an artistic hub.
“Breckenridge has one of the most diverse groups of people in the world,” Anderson said. “It’s got hunters to hippies, liberals to libertarians and beer drinkers to cosmic thinkers. We’re lucky to be in a place with so much diversity.
“People come here, instead of stale Vail, because the history and identity has not been lost or sold out to big business.”
Robb Woulfe, CEO of Breckenridge’s Cultural Arts District, said the creation of the district has been underway since about 2001 when the town council at the time visited Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village. Now, more than a decade later, and after intense investment from the town, the district is on the verge of opening.
“Town council and key staff are credited with originating the idea of developing an arts and cultural district to both enhance the community and to transform Breckenridge into one of the state’s leading creative destinations,” Woulfe said. “The vision was, and continues to be, to develop a district that would bring together studios, galleries, performance spaces, historic landmarks, public art, restaurants, cafes and other creative businesses in downtown Breckenridge.
“It’s a little bit different from anything you’ll see in most resort communities. This will feature an art district campus complete with studios and stores integrated into the town.
“We want this to be a creative destination for all types of art and artists, and it’s only going to grow.”
And Barnhart’s contributions to the new district are more than just a logo. The company is creating art that will go with the district’s ad campaign. The art merges nature and creativity and utilizes the town’s chalkboard theme. Barnhart has even come up with several art activities geared toward visitors.
These include body painting, artisan totes, fashion shows in the wilderness and electronically projecting a person’s likeness onto a tree.
“It’s a literal mix of art and nature,” Anderson said. “Our goal with this campaign is global. Breckenridge is already a world destination for recreation. Now we want to make it a world destination for art as well.”
The town plans to unveil the district Sept. 25 through 28.
“Breckenridge has one of the most diverse groups of people in the world. It’s got hunters to hippies, liberals to libertarians and beer drinkers to cosmic thinkers. We’re lucky to be in a place with so much diversity.”
creative director with Barnhart