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So much to do, so little time

KIMBERLY NICOLETTI/summit daily news
Summit Daily/Kimberly NicolettiFrom left, m embers of Arts for the Summit Otto Kucera, Janet Good, Nancy Wiedel, Lori Schneider, Sandi Greenhut and Kikken Miller helped create a 310-page book listing summer events from 18 arts organizations.
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SUMMIT COUNTY – Three decades ago, Summit County residents like Kikken Miller and Nancy Wiedel begged for entertainment.They scoured The Denver Post and other newspapers for events. Most often they drove to Denver, Aspen or Cheyenne, Wyo., for a night out.But now they’re overwhelmed with arty and other entertaining events in the county.”Thirty-five years ago, I was so excited to have an event up here,” Miller said. “Before, we went to every event. Now we have to choose. By July and August I get worn out.”Wiedel doesn’t have time to drive to Denver for events because Summit’s offerings take all of her time.

The two women joined forces with Sandy Greenhut, who organized a collection of Summit County art organizations under the name Arts for the Summit, about three years ago.At first, arts organizations seemed skeptical about the umbrella organization, fearing it would create more competition, Greenhut said. But Greenhut rallied the troops for the opposite reason – she wanted event coordinators to plan ahead so they didn’t compete with each other.”The original intention was to form a calendar,” Greenhut said. “Before, we’d have four arts shows in the same weekend in different towns, then there’d be nothing for two weeks. That’s how ridiculous it was.”This summer, members compiled a 310-page book listing more than 1,350 summer events from 18 arts organizations. The book lists events by date, type and town. It took about 100 hours to compile, said Lori Schneider, who typed in the information.”Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought there were going to be nearly 1,400 events,” Schneider said. “I think this county could be known as an arts center in Colorado, that it could potentially have national appeal for people looking for vacations with arts-related events. Things like this book and our Web site (www.artsforthesummit.org) can bring this county (into the arts forefront).”

Arts for the Summit is offering the book to lodging companies free of charge, though it has received mixed responses. Many of the corporate lodges such as the Hyatt, Beaver Run Resort, Days Inn and ResortQuest wanted the book, while many smaller lodges and bed and breakfasts didn’t show interest. “I’m surprised that the smaller lodges didn’t pick up on it because people who stay at quaint lodges usually want to come to these kinds of events,” Wiedel said. Some lodging managers, like those at Four Points by Sheraton, said they were interested but couldn’t attend the soirée Wednesday night, where members passed the books out for free. As a result, Arts for the Summit only handed out a few books. Greenhut and Wiedel plan on continuing to introduce the book to the lodging companies.”We did it for them,” Greenhut said. “They’re the front line.”Though all of the lodges didn’t embrace the book as expected, real estate agents, business owners and other individuals wanted the book – something members didn’t foresee. Real estate agents want to use it to show their clients how the arts are alive in Summit County, and individuals have purchased the book for their own guests, Greenhut said.

Arts for the Summit plans to compile three books a year, every four months.”Our mission is to clarify and make it easier for the patrons to find what we’re doing,” Miller said.”People (in the arts community) are starting to really cooperate, and we’re all pooling our resources,” Wiedel said.Members of Arts for the Summit include: Summit County Arts Council, Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, The Snake River Chamber Players, Summit County Arts Exhibit Committee, Frisco Historical Society, Summit Historical Society, Summit Choral Society, Fine Arts Council of Father Dyer Church, Friends of the Library, Organization for the Creative Arts, Lake Dillon Foundation for the Performing Arts, Breckenridge Festival of Film, Summit Community Orchestra, Co.Motion Dancers, Summit Concert Band, Backstage Theatre, Snake River Community Association.Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or by e-mail at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.


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