Breckenridge paints picture of cohesive arts district under new non-profit seeking CEO
Ryan Summerlin August 30, 2013
Breckenridge has orchestrated a plan for a more cohesive arts district.
The town is creating a cultural arts non-profit to serve as an umbrella organization that will oversee current programs as well as growth. The new non-profit would coordinate with the existing arts organizations and oversee town-owned amenities such as the Riverwalk and arts campus buildings.
Jennifer Cram, current arts district administrator for Breckenridge, said there has been a need for better cohesion and collaboration.
“How it all works exactly is yet to be determined, but the goal is to take the art and culture of Breckenridge to the next level,” she said.
In 2004, the town established an Arts District master plan that set new boundaries for the arts district in Breckenridge, and addressed potential programming in the future.
The vision states Breckenridge hopes to function as, “a cohesive and diverse community where art, architecture and cultural events and facilities improve the community experience for residents and visitors, offer diverse and affordable programming, and promote Breckenridge as a year-round cultural center for the region.”
Individual arts non-profits will still have their own boards and conduct their own fundraising, but Cram said having the arts organizations work together will be beneficial for everyone.
“It will create synergy between all of the existing non-profits — visual arts, theater, everything,” she said.
Currently, the town is looking for a CEO for the non-profit to lead the transition of the current programs into the new operations. Applications are due Sept. 10 and more information can be found on the town of Breckenridge website.
“I’m excited to have a mentor, someone to bounce ideas off of,” Cram said. “It will enable me to do my job better, and have the support in place to bring nationally known artists here, and expand and cross promote with the arts programs.”
The organization will help the town coordinate arts calendars and programming, Cram said, giving them a more marketable product and creating efficiency.
The build out of the arts district campus was the infrastructure impetus for the new organization. In a prepared statement, Breckenridge Mayor John Marner said the town is entering into a cultural renaissance.
“As far back as the 1860s, this community has embraced its artistic personality,” he said. “Within the next few years, Breckenridge will have a vibrant East/West arts axis intersecting the North/South Main Street axis in the heart of town which will complement our lively gallery scene.”
Other plans include an expansion of the Breckenridge Theatre, a new dance studio in the historic Abbey Hall on Main Street and upgrades to the Riverwalk Center. A collection of restored, historical structures will host a number of workshops, guest and resident artists’ programs and cultural events.
The Breckenridge town council will also appoint a Board of Directors to oversee the development of the new non-profit.
“Having this [new non-profit] will make easier for visitors to understand and provide them with better service,” Cram said. “It’ll be like a one-stop shop for the arts in Breckenridge.”