A council for every reason and a committee for every season | SummitDaily.com

A council for every reason and a committee for every season

Summit County, one of the smallest counties in the state, is blessed with an art-nurturing constituency. There have been previous articles in the Summit Daily pertaining to The Breckenridge Public Arts Commission, The Summit County Arts Council, and from time to time, The Summit County Arts Exhibit Committee. In addition to these more local groups, there is also the Colorado Council on the Arts and the Colorado Business Commission for the Arts and a number of other municipal level groups throughout the state.

Does a county this size really need more than one art-

driven organization? Depends. To paraphrase Gordon Geko, “art is good.” Assuming art is a hallmark of civilization – that it can provoke, make us feel good, educate and beautify – how is a community to choose which work of art represents the collective consensus?

At times there might be an individual who will spearhead a movement. When public sentiment and tax dollars are at issue, establishing a committee is the typical approach to getting things done. The driving force behind the creation of these seemingly similar organizations is their diversity of goals.

Admittedly, there are some crossovers, but in general, the different committees don’t duplicate efforts and usually enhance our cultural heritage.

The Colorado Arts and Humanities Act of 1967 helped to pave the way for civic-minded art. The government’s formation of a council to help support and promote the arts grew from that legislation. Today, the Colorado Council on the Arts (CCA) has taken on the responsibility of statewide cultural endorsement.

The CCA consists of 11 members appointed by the governor and broadly represents the major fields of all the arts. Among its duties, the CCA provides consultation to municipalities and private groups, assists in the development of arts infrastructures and public arts programs and works to secure funding from federal and private resources.

The Summit County Arts Council (SCAC) was established in 1990 to encourage artists of Summit County, through the promotion of studio tours, gallery walks and numerous events involving the visual, performing and the literary arts.

The SCAC also acts as a resource for local government through its artists’ registry and Web site, and each year it awards a scholarship to a Summit High school senior wishing to pursue a career in the arts.

The Breckenridge Public Arts Council (BPAC) was created in 1992 to develop a focus for public art and to assist in the procurement process. That process often involves a collaborative effort with other groups, such as the SCAC. The BPAC agenda is to maintain a clear vision for the town’s public art collection.

The Summit County Arts Exhibit Committee helps to showcase artists’ work in the county’s public spaces. It was formed in 1994 to interact with the county commissioners in the pursuit and exhibition of art in public buildings and on public land and is currently responsible for two bronze sculptures scheduled to grace the Summit County Community and Senior Center and animal shelter in Frisco.

It’s comforting to know there’s someone out there giving a voice to art and a place to enjoy it.

Stew Mosberg is a writer and journalist working out of Blue River. He holds a bachelor of design degree from the University of Florida, College of Fine Arts and Architecture, is the author of two books on design and is the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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