A look at Summit’s scene
SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit County’s arts and entertainment scene saw plenty of birth, death and celebration in 2004, because, after all, the business is all about creativity.Yes, Ol’ Dirty Bastard died hours before Sherpa & Yeti’s scheduled him to show up in November, but that’s not the kind of death we’re talking about (after all, it’s the new year, and we wouldn’t want to bum you out too soon).No, we’re talking deaths of massive dreams of Madonna and Usher belting it out at Copper Mountain. We’re talking Breckenridge Music Festival skating on thin ice in its attempt to bring in bigger and better musicians (NOT as big as Madonna or Usher) and having its hopes shattered by lack of support.Along with death cycles come birth, and Summit County screams with new additions this year – galleries, more classical music and the promise of a new arts venue in Keystone.But let’s begin with the parties, because Summit swelled with, uh, well, swell parties.We know you probably have memories of your own favorite party in 2004, but we’re reviewing the ones fit for print.The gala eventIn case you missed The Summit Foundation’s 20th anniversary celebration, let’s flashback to July 2:It’s Friday night. Shuttles at Sharon Magness and Ernie Blake’s Triple Creek Ranch north of Silverthorne drive you up the dirt road, past a small pond, a reclaimed old Swiss cabin and fields of grass and wildflowers to the main event.The enormous tent looms like Denver International Airport, dwarfing the large pond beside it. Inside, tens of thousands of crystal beads drip down from the center of the tent, complementing golden fabric adorning the canvas ceiling. Faux columns set off the glistening crystals and the stage, where four crystal chandeliers hang. Roses, sunflowers and green foliage sprout from aspen trunks at each table.But the bathrooms really stand out, garnering rave reviews from nearly everyone who visit. Technically, they are porta-potties, but once guests enter the trailers, it’s easy to forget. Four wooden doors hide the porcelain, fully-flushing toilets. Green faux marble walls accent the faux wooden floors. Only bug spray on the countertop hints guests are “roughing it.”Back in the tent, Matt Renoux from Channel 9 emcees the event, joking guests may need a GPS unit to find their tables. Once the 500 guests sit down, Epicurean Catering presents a gourmet meal complete with tenderloin and peach cobbler.The party hosts the movers and shakers of Summit.”The sense of community- this is what Summit County is about,” said Silverthorne councilmember Peggy Long that night. “The people that are here tonight are the soul of the Summit.”Wining and dining in the pines
Not even a fire alarm could urge Wine in the Pines guests to leave.October’s 21st annual Wine in the Pines at the Keystone Conference Center drew about 1,000 people to indulge in more than 500 international wines, gourmet food from Keystone’s finest restaurants and a mountain of chocolate and other desserts, according to Mike Smith, co-founder of the event that benefits Colorado Cerebral Palsy.When a fire flare from the potato bar set off a prerecorded emergency alarm asking people to exit the building, few heeded the warning.Some guests slowly made their way to the exit, but by the time less than half of the people left the room, Smith announced it was safe to return. And the night of fashion and feasting continued without a hitch.When skiers and riders shed fleeceSure, they can link turns. But when it’s time to take off the fleece and deal with fashion terms like, say, cuff links, can skiers and riders keep up?Hundreds proved you can live in Summit and still be formal at the 24th annual Ski Ball, a fundraiser for Team Summit. Throughout the years, the event has become more and more elegant, said Deb Cirillo, Ski Ball chairperson, and this year’s ball, themed Some Enchanted Evening, was no different.Big-act hopes die (for now); smaller dreams persistIntrawest froze its plans to build a $25-$30 million big-act venue at Copper Mountain.The company placed Peak Center, the working title of the proposed high-tech performing arts center at Copper, on hold along with everything else regarding the company’s Comprehensive Development Strategy when the Board of County Commissioners denied the proposal in July.The plan was to add 1,155 more residential units and 150,000 square feet of commercial space to the resort, half of which would have been the performing arts center. Meanwhile, the Keystone Neighbourhood Company (KNC) along with the Snake River Community Association moved ahead with plans to build a smaller, year-round, permanent performing arts center to meet the county’s needs.KNC has raised more than $500,000 to construct an indoor community center that could host concerts, theater, dance, comedy, weddings and conferences, said Keven Burnett, KNC executive director.KNC has another $700,000 from assessments and transfer taxes that it can use for construction, Burnett said.”In five years, we will have at least enough money to build a stripped, pavilion-style facility, which would be in the $1 1/2 million range,” Burnett said. “In my mind, we have another five years on the tent, and we will need to build a permanent facility. We want to build the best facility we can with the funds we have at the time.”
… And more deathThey didn’t come, so the Breckenridge Music Festival canceled it.Four days before the show, Jeff Baum, executive director of the Breckenridge Music Festival (BMF), canceled the Medeski, Martin and Wood show scheduled at the Stephen C. West Outdoor Ice Arena.What’s the big deal of canceling a show, you ask? Well, Baum was testing a new venue – the ice rink. If it had been successful, Baum said he’d bring in bigger and better acts.Baum had booked the popular groove-based trio in an alternative venue – as opposed to the Riverwalk Center – in hopes of attracting a younger crowd, but poor advance ticket sales of only 80 tickets caused him to freeze the show.Baum hopes to use the venue next summer but points out he needs community support to bring in bigger acts.”I would hope that part of the lesson learned by us and by the people in the community is that they have to realize there’s an inherent risk in the events promotion business,” Baum said. “Maybe next time people will purchase their tickets early and not just wait for the day of the show.”It was the first concert Baum had ever canceled in 25 years of booking acts, he said.A county of growthWhile the rock scene quieted down in Summit, the arts scene took off.Hidden in Breckenridge’s industrial park off county road 450, a trendy scene began to emerge with the county’s newest contemporary art space, Four-fifths Gallery and studio earlier this year.Though the group of 20-somethings haven’t made a huge impact in terms of selling art, the artists remain committed after almost a year.”It is really a venue for something different,” co-owner Amy Small said. “It’s really nice to create a community where you can enter a dialogue, a place where I can keep making art and keep discussing it.”Near the end of the year, Summit County Arts Council (SCAC) opened a new, high-end cooperative gallery called Arts Alive! at La Cima Mall in Breckenridge. It features work from SCAC members, as well as artists working daily in the gallery and studio.The town of Breckenridge continued to build on the creative buzz flying around town with its plans for the Arts District.
The town hopes to create an art campus, similar to Anderson Ranch in Snowmass Village, where people take art classes from renowned artists.”It’s exciting to me as an artist to be able to envision an artists’ community where people can bounce ideas off each other and share,” said Jennifer Cram, arts district coordinator. “There are so many talented artists in Summit County, and they’re all kind of going it alone. There’s such a creative energy when you get a group of talented artists together.”The town also began a donor program to increase its public art collection. It will add no more than two pieces annually from the Outdoor Sculpture Show that individuals may buy and donate to the town.The National Repertory Orchestra benefited from the artistic appreciation swirling through the county.It expanded its summer program to include winter classical concerts featuring professionals. The first concert featured five New York Philharmonic musicians Dec. 20.Dramatic claim to fameBreckenridge Theatre artistic director Jeremy Cole had a good year.He celebrated the theater’s 30 year anniversary in the summer, then won best director in the Denver Post Ovation Awards.Cole was the Susan Lucci of theater, having been nominated for awards but never winning – until December.He won best director for “Metamorphoses.” The play also won best drama, best supporting actor and a special achievement award for the 1,800 gallon pool featured in the production.2004’s ghostly partyOK, before we put this year-end review to rest, we have to mention the inaugural Coroner’s Ball.Last Halloween Joanne Richardson, the county coroner, threw a party to die for.No other coroner has had the foresight – or the warped sense of humor – to throw a party and ask people to dress as their favorite dead celebrity.Richardson raised $7,597 to benefit Summit County families who can’t afford to bury their deceased. Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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