The Crested Butte Arts Festival (CO): 50 Years Strong - Creating An Experience to Remember


The Crested Butte Arts Festival (CBAF) has long been known as the signature culture event of the summer in the charming town of Crested Butte, CO. Embarking on its 50th year in the arts festival industry, the non-profit has positioned itself as a mainstay for artists and art enthusiasts to mingle amongst the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. With many arts festivals struggling to keep their doors open after 2020, very few events can say that they are stronger than before, but CBAF has adopted this as their mantra. Although with it’s fair share of challenges due to the pandemic, they attribute this positive attitude to the support of their dedicated patronage from both artists and art enthusiasts from across the country.

Transforming challenge into positive change is an art in and of itself; it takes commitment, teamwork, and, if we are all honest, a healthy dose of stubborness. Not only has the CBAF risen up from the ashes, it has also jumped head first into a new millenia festival experience. Historically, the event had been located in downtown Crested Butte on their main street, however with an increase in tourism the event outgrew its long standing location. Luckily, the community provided and the CBAF found itself settled on 10 acres 3 blocks from its historic location. This new location offers ultimate visibility for anyone entering the town of Crested Butte, and as a result the event saw better than average sales for artists in 2021. With a commitment to ensuring this success as the new normal, event organizers have turned their attention to the “experience” offered at the event that is sure to be felt at it's 50th anniversary celebration and beyond.

“Our non-profit is energized and committed to providing an exceptional experience in an extraordinary location. For artists, we intend to provide a boutique experience where they not only feel supported through our organization's customer service, but also feel an increased sophistication from the event layout, weekend’s offerings, and buyers' purchasing behavior” said executive director Chelsea Dalporto-McDowell.



With nature being at the forefront of the curated experience, the event maintains the magical quality that the festival has been so well known for throughout its tenure in the arts festival industry. Textured, dynamic, and personified is the goal and with the stunning backdrop of nature’s architecture- this intention is easy to accomplish! Going into the weekend with an attitude of success for all, CBAF’s marketing dollars and overall festival offerings intend to attract an eclectic patron primed for purchasing.




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