The New Crested Butte Center for the Arts
An Inside Look at the New Facility, Fundraising Needs, & More
The Crested Butte Center for the Arts (CFTA) construction project to build a new facility is well underway. I am a supporter of the CFTA, a lover of arts and cultural events, and a patron of our community events. The new CFTA building is a project that is worthy of supporting. In fact, not only will it aid a number of local nonprofits in sustaining and growing their programs and provide a variety of arts and cultural experiences to residents and visitors alike, but it will also positively affect our local economy. In general, the CFTA organization is a true asset for our community!
The History of the CFTA
Historically, a group of Crested Butte residents converted a county maintenance garage into a community arts center in 1985. Now, “that same building has been pushed beyond its capacity to try to fulfill the changing cultural needs of the community,” (Crested Butte Center for the Arts). In fact, “Over the last thirty years, the local population has doubled, and there has been tremendous growth in the number of events presented, the size of audiences, and the number and variety of educational programs provided by the Center for the Arts and its partner organizations,” (CFTA). It’s no surprise that the demand for a new building is immediately pressing. To emphasize, “less than 8,000 people attended Center events in 1985, while last year, over 40,000 people attended over 650 events, positively impacting the local economy by more than $3 million.”
I asked CFTA Executive Director Jenny Birnie what she thought was the most exciting feature of the new facility. She said, “This is a tough one to answer since there are so many exciting features to the new building. The flexibility of the theater is really amazing and will allow us to provide a venue for a lot of different productions and community events. Dedicated dance and visual arts spaces are desperately needed, and I am excited that we will be accommodating that need and helping the arts nonprofits expand their programming and take things to the next level. We will also have a completely handicap accessible building, so we will finally be able to say that the Center for the Arts serves everyone in our community.”
Construction Timeline & Cost/Fundraising Details
By December 1, 2018, Phase One is expected to be completed. Next, by July 1, 2019, the CFTA is anticipating for Phase Two and Three to be completed, and for the entire facility to be open for business. Phase Two is a renovation of the existing building. Phase Three is the new outdoor stage.
Next, here is a list of the building features.
- Flexible seating for 300-330
- Dance floor and balcony
- New Alpenglow outdoor stage
- 5 class and rehearsal rooms
- 4 art studios
- New visual arts gallery
- Culinary instruction and catering kitchen
- Multipurpose meeting spaces for the community
- State-of-the-art lighting, sound and visual technology
- Energy efficient HVAC
- ADA compliant
- 25,000 square feet
- Click here to view the floorplan.
Additionally, below is a breakdown of the capital campaign budget.
- Total Cost: $15.5 million
- Total Raised: $11.7 million
- The New Building – Phase One: $12.5 million
- Renovation of Existing Building – Phase Two: $2.6 million
- Renovation of the Outdoor Stage – Phase Three: $400,000
Overall, the CFTA fills many needs in our community. As Jenny Birnie states, one of the most important needs the organization fills is “Giving locals, part-time residents, and visitors access to world-class arts in a small, remote mountain town.” Twelve community groups currently utilize and benefit from the CFTA. Finally, their primary renters are the Crested Butte School of Dance, Crested Butte Film Festival, and the Crested Butte Music Festival.
About the CFTA Primary Residents
The School of Dance
The School of Dance now serves as the 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor of the Dance Collective and all of its programs including aerial programming and the Move the Butte and Fall community productions. The new Center for the Arts is slated to provide “a dedicated aerial dance facility and several additional dance/performance studios to support the incredible growth of the School of Dance,” (Crested Butte Center for the Arts). “Aerial dance has grown beyond our expectations and the need for suitable spaces is vital to the continued success of the Dance Collective,” stated Founder of the Crested Butte Dance Collective KT Folz.
Crested Butte Film Festival
The Co-founders of the Crested Butte Film Festival are Michael and Jen Brody. To them, the CFTA is a “place to showcase the beauty and storytelling of contemporary films from around the world using state-of-the-art visual and sound technology.” “Through the transformative power of cinema, the Crested Butte Film Festival fosters artistic creativity, inspires connection and cultural awareness, and champions social action,” (Crested Butte Film Festival). Their film festival runs every year during the last week in September.
The Crested Butte Music Festival
Finally, the music festival. The CFTA and the Crested Butte Music Festival announced earlier this fall that the two organizations will collaborate on space and programming beginning in 2018. Learn more about the CFTA and Crested Butte Music Festival collaboration on the homepage of the CFTA.
To close, for more information about the new CFTA building or the organization, visit their webpage. Additionally, consider supporting their capital campaign here. Overall, this facility will do so much for our community in the years to come!
Photos, renderings and video courtesy of the Center for the Arts.