Organizers of the sixth annual Colorado Creative Industries Summit this week in Summit County are expecting more than 350 artists, creative businesspeople, nonprofit officials and city leaders for a gathering of individuals looking to better capitalize on their local arts and culture scenes.
On Thursday and Friday in Breckenridge, the two-day summit will feature a variety of workshops, exhibits, performances, networking opportunities and keynote speakers, including Jane Chu, chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Joining Chu on the lineup are Daniel Windham, director of arts at Wallace, and market research expert Bob Harlow, who will present information from various studies he's undertaken and draw from his book, "The Road to Results: Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences."
Additionally, another presentation will feature Vince Kadlubek, co-founder and CEO of Meow Wolf, an arts collective behind the award-winning art experience "House of Eternal Return" in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which has generated a remarkable economic impact while supporting local growth and emerging talent.
“This will be the largest event that we’ve had yet.”Christy Costelloprogram manager at Colorado Creative Industries
Also at the summit, there will be the 2017 Governor's Creative Leadership Awards luncheon honoring community leaders who use art to impact social and civic change, with the awards crafted by local artist Martin Deegan.
The summit is all part of an effort to help creative entrepreneurs, communities and arts organizations expand their knowledge and reach, said Christy Costello, program manager at Colorado Creative Industries, who added that the summit always draws a wide audience, including some eccentrics.
For example, art cars — or fully functioning, elaborately decorated automobiles — seem to make it every year, Costello said, adding that one year at the Colorado arts summit she even saw a mini temple set ablaze — somewhat like the Burning Man festival in Nevada.
"This will be the largest event that we've had yet," she said, explaining that generally the summit draws three main audiences — artists and creative business people, individuals representing arts organizations, and civic leaders who want to use the arts to better develop their communities.
Last year, the summit was in Carbondale, another Colorado mountain town about 20 miles south of Glenwood Springs, and Costello said they are especially eager to be heading to Breckenridge this year.
"Yeah, we're really excited for everyone to see what they've done there," she said of the town that recently earned a top national ranking in the annual Arts Vibrancy Index for small communities under 100,000 in population.
According to Colorado Creative Industries, the state also ranks in the top five states nationally for its high concentration of artists.
Colorado Creative Industries operates under the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Registration for the summit is $165. For more information, go to ColoradoCreativeIndustries.org/summit.