Telluride Arts is located in the historic Stronghouse Studios + Gallery at 283 South Fir Street.
Gallery 81435, the Stronghouse Studios + Gallery and the Telluride Arts offices are open daily from noon to 6pm during the on-seasons.
Please email or call for an appointment anytime.
PO Box 152, Telluride, Colorado, 81435 | 970.728.3930 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Telluride Arts vitalizes the region by advancing the appreciation and participation in the arts through three main program areas: Supporting Art at its Source: Providing resources for regional artists, Connecting Audiences with the Arts: connecting diverse audiences with dynamic and broad local arts offerings and Advocacy and Planning: Ensuring the arts inform local decision making.
Telluride Arts: Supporting artists since 1971
The Telluride Council for the Arts and Humanities was established on November 17, 1971 to nurture a creative cultural environment through programs that integrate the arts into all aspects of community life. The early years of the organization were focused on incubating a dynamic arts activity by fostering grass roots initiatives and presenting and producing a robust array of arts and culture events. Many programs incubated under Telluride Arts have flourished and become culturally defining for the town of Telluride. These include the Telluride Chamber Music Festival, the Telluride Film Festival, the Telluride Jazz Festival, the Telluride Writer’s Guild and the Telluride Artists Bazaar among others.
In the 1980’s Telluride Arts managed the Sheridan Opera house and produced a full performing arts series, produced the Telluride Arts Festival, developed a permanent art collection, curated a number of art exhibits around town, produced the Beaux Arts Ball and cultivated ideas and energy that would establish Telluride as a thriving destination for the arts and for artists.
In the 1990’s Telluride was booming and establishing long term support for the arts and local artists was critical. Telluride Arts produced and circulated a local events calendar, a comprehensive directory of artists, events and organizations and published a regular arts newspaper. During this time efforts were focused on supporting local artists through small grants and artist fellowships, promoting artist’s work by producing art fairs and artists seminars. In a partnership established with the Town of Telluride in 1986, Telluride Arts has awarded between $10-20,000 in small grants and fellowships annually for local artists’ projects. The winter bazaar, established in 1983 has developed into a favorite event that today features the work of over 40 regional artists. In 1996 Telluride Arts initiated the development of the Community Cultural Plan adopted by the town, and cited in the Governor’s Art Award presented to Telluride Arts and the Mayor in 2010.
In 2005, responding to the increased pressure on artists struggling to find and afford space to do their work, Telluride Arts secured a rare historic building in town and developed the Stronghouse Studios and Gallery. The building, which was erected in 1892 and named for having the strongest structure in town, provides an essential resource for artists to work locally. The open floor plan of the studio lends itself to interaction among artists and visitors, creating an atmosphere where the exchange of ideas flows freely and often. The building is host to over 25 visual artists and musicians, and offers a darkroom and music room. In 2008, a gallery was established in the building that provides a unique space for local artists to show and sell their work in monthly exhibits. Several times a year, the gallery is utilized for exhibits in collaboration with special events held in Telluride, which help connect the Stronghouse artists with a diverse clientele who come for festivals. In 2008 Telluride Arts provided a professional development to artists through a workshop series. Today, Stronghouse artists mentor youth in collaboration with One Mentoring and the Telluride School District. Hands-On Stronghouse provides space and activities to engage young visitors to the studio in the artistic disciplines of resident artists.
In 2008 Telluride Arts launched a monthly celebration of all of the arts with a First Thursday Art Walk to showcase the local arts community. In 2011 we launched Kids Walk; a new program targeted at engaging families in local arts and culture.
Also in 2011, Telluride Arts launched Twenty(by)Telluride, a fun and creative monthly gathering that shared ideas and innovations of Telluride community members. In 2012 we will launch Telluride Open Studios and invite artists, artisans, architects and designers to open their doors and share their creative spaces.
In this decade Telluride Arts role as a leader and advocate for the arts and artists is priority. Our board, staff and 7 additional community members developed a three year strategic plan that was adopted in January 2011. The plan was informed by over 40 one-on-one interviews and rigorous evaluation of programs through financial analysis and surveys of participants. It is supported by a number of local and regional planning processes that provide context to our work. In 1996, the Town of Telluride Community Cultural Plan identified specific priorities that have been reinforced by current research reflected in the 2010 Alternative Futures study, the Telluride Affordable Housing Strategic Plan (2004), the Telluride Master Plan (2006), the Housing Demands and Needs Analysis (2008), Horizontal Zoning Code (2009). These studies confirm a growing sense of urgency to address livability for a diverse population, cultural vitality and economic sustainability in the Telluride region. In addition, extensive research was completed around the concept of a Performing Arts Coalition in order to create better efficiencies among the local nonprofit arts community in 2007. We are currently participating in an economic impact study and will update the Cultural Master Plan in 2012 in order to identify assets and needs for the arts and artists in Telluride. It is these concerns that provide context and direction for the vigorous work plan for Telluride Arts.
We have dusted off an abundance of old files and collated the history of a very rich and dynamic first forty years. We are very connected to our purpose and energized to forward the arts in Telluride through dynamic programs.