Those who live here and others who come to visit know that art is built into the foundation of Telluride’s community; now, thanks to Telluride’s recent acknowledgment as winner of the Governor’s Arts Awards Honorable Mention, the entire state recognizes the community as one of the most inspired in Colorado.
“To have a small town like Telluride be recognized at the state level says a lot about this community and its support of arts and culture,” said Telluride Mayor Stu Fraser of the award, which was announced earlier this summer and will be presented to Telluride in a Governor’s Arts Award ceremony in Loveland in September.
Although Loveland was ultimately chosen as the winner of the Governor’s Arts Award, the committee was so impressed with Telluride that it created a special Honorable Mention award. Award selection committee member Melinda Laz wrote of Telluride’s Governor’s Arts Award submission: “The committee was very impressed by the multi-faceted level of commitment to the arts in Telluride, by the commitment to arts education, as well as by the commitment to supporting your own local artists.”
Telluride Council for the Arts and Humanities Executive Director Renee Marr drafted the two-page nomination letter on behalf of the town, which outlined Telluride’s abundance of programs and events that support artistic endeavors within the community, among them: TCAH’s “First Thursdays” Art Walk; the Stronghouse Studios Artists Cooperative; One-to-One’s art mentorships; the Sheridan Arts Foundation’s Plein Air Festival and youth acting program; Telluride Repertory Theatre and Telluride Second Stage productions; the Telluride Public School’s artist in residency program; the Choral Society’s Emanon youth program; Telluride Dance Academy’s Nutcracker and Spring ballets; Telluride Academy’s youth Summer Art Camp and after-school art programs; and the Pinhead Institute’s Art and Science program.
Financial commitment to the arts from local organizations, governments and foundations like the Commission on Cultural Assistance, Arts and Special Events; the Telluride Mountain Village Home Owners Association; TCAH; and the Telluride Foundation were also emphasized as boons to the local arts community.
“To be acknowledged for this award, when we were competing against much larger communities that have much more funding, truly shows how dedicated our community is to the arts,” Marr said.
This year marked the second year of the newly reinstated Governor’s Arts Award, which was initiated in 1969 to honor communities for their contributions to Colorado’s cultural environment. The award was reinstated in 2007 after a five-year hiatus, with a new focus on the role of the arts in community development, and was presented to the city of Grand Junction last year. This is the first year the organization will present an Honorable Mention award.
Fraser and Marr have been invited to the Governor’s Arts Award Ceremony in Loveland, which will be attended by Gov. Bill Ritter, to accept Telluride’s Honorable Mention award. The ceremony will be held sometime in September.