Cultural Arts Council of Estes Park A Brief History 1990-2014
In 1989, the Cultural Arts Council of Estes Park (CAC) was established through the joint efforts of the Town of Estes Park, area musicians and artists, and with the input of community members. In the early years we did not have a physical residence, operating only with a post office box and telephone in a private home. Our main task was to keep a community calendar of arts events and answer related questions via the phone.
On May 18, 1990 we were incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, and since then our journey has been an adventure. The Cultural Arts Council of Estes Park has always sought to present multi-faceted programs serving persons of all ages; regardless of gender, color, religion and creed. In 1990 we acquired a part-time volunteer director Lynda S. Vogel, whose task was to develop the newly formed organization. In 1991, Vogel was hired as a part-time paid staff member. In 2014, twenty four years later, Vogel continues to oversee the CAC operations as director. The Cultural Arts Council continues to grow from its origins as a ?community vision? in 1989.
Over our twenty plus year history we have operated six different locations in Estes Park, with 304 E. Elkhorn Ave. the longest stay of any — ten years. In June 2008 we renovated and moved into a 1,800 sq. ft. facility adjacent to Estes Park’s Performance Park, our current location at 423 W. Elkhorn in West Park Center on the west end of downtown Estes Park.
Our program offerings were expanded, directly benefiting the young people and elderly population who may not have access to quality art/music and arts education. We acquired a grand piano and provided new performing arts programming. The location afforded us classroom space, and in 2009 the CAC launched “EXPLORATIONS IN ART”, and in 2014 “Exploration in Art History”. We maintain a website, answer inquiries via walk-ins, telephone, mail and e-mail. The CAC presents professional workshops and Open Studio sessions which are held throughout the year.
Through the years it has been the privilege of the CAC to reach numerous audiences with free or affordable programs. Our visual arts exhibitions include the prestigious national museum tours “ARTS for the PARKS” (seven times), “ART and the ANIMAL”, IPAP/LAI’s international museum tour “Far and Near Horizons” and the National Oil and Acrylic Painters’ Society Invitational ?Visions for the New Decade? and “Women Artists of the West” 48th annual national show “WAOWing the Centennial State”. The CAC has also curated exhibitions featuring art on loan from the collections of the University of Colorado at Boulder Art Museum, A.R. Mitchell Museum (Trinidad, CO), Robert Glenn Ketchum, the Rocky Mountain National Artist in Residence/Park Museum and the McGregor Ranch Museum.
We have curated numerous special exhibitions/visual arts events that have featured members from our local community, Park School District (K-12 students), past history, Western Norway, and throughout the United States. These offerings have include ‘Student Expressions” (17 years), Women’s History Month Art Exhibit (27 years), “Estes Park Plein Air (2003 – 2009).
In 2010 the CAC premiered a new national plein event in Estes Park, “Plein Air Rockies- A Festival of Outdoor Painting”. This festival continues to support the art outdoor painting, while bringing artists of excellence from around the world to Colorado.
Performing arts programs have featured Central City Opera (Colorado), U.S. Air Force Academy Band, many renowned musicians and vocalists with “Thursday Night Live” (14 years) and most recently student and professional musicians performing on our 1930 Baldwin grand piano. In 2012, Rocky Ridge Music Center brought students to the CAC Fine Art Gallery on Monday evenings July 2 through August 9 for weekly classical concerts.
The CAC has sponsored many interactive community events annually, such as, “Imagine This! (family arts festival); Art Walks and Art Tours (self guided tours of galleries and artist studios) and collaborates with the Town and others on special events like Jazz Fest and the Winter Festival.
The mission of the Cultural Arts Council of Estes Park ?To enhance the quality and accessibility of visual and performing arts for people of all ages” will continue to act as a guide for the services we provide for years to come.