Interview Jenny Birnie Center for The Arts Crested Butte
I got the opportunity to interview Jenny Birnie Center for The Arts Crested Butte – Jenny is the Executive Director. The Arts are very important to Crested Butte – and the Center for the Arts is a hub for arts that brings people together. For more than 25 years the Center for the Arts has been providing a year-round schedule of live music, dance and theater performances as well as art exhibits, speakers and much more.
Probably the most popular Center for the Arts event is the outdoor Summer Alpenglow Concert Series – a free concert every Monday evening in Crested Butte and one of my family’s favorite summertime events. A fun event that has become a community gathering to bring all demographics together in Crested Butte.
The Center for the Arts has been planning an expansion of its current facility in order to better serve the needs of the community and patrons. Recently the Center came before the Crested Butte City Council and proposed an option to instead totally replace the current facility noting that the expansion may not fill the needs of the community going forward. As reported in the Crested Butte news in July – with a packed house and the council meeting Jenny Birnie said: “We are truly trying to create a community art center and we can’t do it in the space that is there. We know it’s a beloved building with a lot of history but we need some changes.”
The mission of the Center for the Arts is to enrich and expand community participation in the arts.
Looking at the Goals for the Center – the #1 goal is: Best-in-Class Facility: Create a facility that is home to the region’s cultural organizations and recognized as “best-in- class” for visual and performing arts as well as other civic and cultural activities; offer the best place to access cultural resources in the region.
The Center for the Arts is very important to the Crested Butte Community. Many second homeowners are very generous with their contributions and without this support the Center and the programs as we know it would not exist. The Arts are vital to the lifeblood of the community and make a huge economic impact to Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley. Many second homeowners realize that the value of Crested Butte Real Estate is tied to the amenities in the Crested Butte area – and the Arts are key. The Center has planned a January 2014 Capital Campaign – and certainly there will be a number of opportunities for donors to help support this expanded or new facility. As stated on the Center’s website: “we must raise close to 66% of the operating budget each year through contributions and fundraising events. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and successful fundraisers, we are able to operate the Center as an affordable community arts venue. You can help keep the arts at the center of our community by making a tax deductible donation today.
You can make an online donation on the Center for the Arts Contribution page.
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Author: Chris Kopf