Colorado Creative Industries Summit

The Creative Industries Summit is the annual event for Colorado creatives to connect, learn, and be inspired. More than 300 creative stakeholders from over 60 Colorado cities and towns attend the summit.

The two-day event offers exhibits, performances, networking opportunities, speakers, classes, and workshops.

The event is ideal for both early- and late-career creative leaders including artists, board members, community leaders, creative entrepreneurs, creative industries advocates from all sectors, elected officials, emerging creatives, executive directors, municipal and nonprofit cultural workers, and program staff.

The 2023 summit will be held in Crested Butte on June 1-2. Tickets to this event are sold out. Browse the 2023 program. 


Type: Summit

For: Creatives and artists

Date: June 1-2, 2023

Location: Crested Butte

OEDIT division: Colorado Creative Industries

Browse the 2023 program to see the agenda and learn more!

Legacy Conversation featuring Maryo Gard Ewell, Tony Garcia, Deborah Thornton, Anthony Garcia Sr., and Louise Martorano 
Often, when long-time leaders retire, we give them a big party but fail to ask them what they have learned over their career – not to be nostalgic but to grasp big-picture ideas, trends and patterns that may be valuable to younger leaders.  And, often, leaders in mid-career are so busy “doing” that they aren’t afforded time to reflect on their work and the legacy they hope to build through their career.  In this session, two senior leaders and two leaders in mid-career will engage in conversation about patterns they see and what they have learned – or are learning – that may be valuable to arts leaders at any point in their career. 

From Access to Aging Presented by Damon McLeese
With support from Gunnison Valley Health Foundation

What will the cultural landscape look like in the next 20 years? For decades we have devoted our energies and resources to creative programming and access to our youth. What happens when there are more 60 year olds than 6 year olds in this country? Combining lessons learned from 40 years of working in and around the disability community and accessibility modifications, I have learned a bit about the difference between creativity and artistry; and as I reached the milestone of being "old" myself, I realized that with an aging population there are also huge opportunities. We should be providing as many creative opportunities for 80 year olds as we do for 8 year olds. Study after study has shown people engaged in creative outlets live longer, take fewer medicines and are less likely to fall than their peers who do not. Also, as people continue to live longer, there is opportunity to expand our educational programs to think past traditional passive approaches for our elders and really embrace the creative spark that reemerges as we age. This is truly a talk about opportunity, rather than limitations, for individuals, organizations and society.

Session highlights:

Rural Arts Connect: Harnessing the Power of a Network
Presenters: Teresa Booth Brown, Raihana Omri

In this summit session, we’ll share the outcomes from Rural Arts Connect, a three-year research project by the Aspen Art Museum and the Center of Science and Industry’s Center for Research and Evaluation, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The project aimed to study what happens when rural arts organizations come together, share ideas, and develop collaborative programming. To achieve this, we formed a network of leaders from organizations across western Colorado with the shared goal of learning together and expanding capacity.
We’ll discuss the challenges and successes of the project, consider possibilities for expanding this model, and explore how the future of networks like these could look. We’ll also share our recommendations for other organizations interested in adopting and building upon the model or supporting a network.

Colorado’s Evolving Arts & Culture Philanthropy; A Continuing Conversation to Share Progress, Ongoing Community Needs and Opportunities
Presenters: Chris Bui, Gina Ferrari, Bryce Merrill, Claire Swinford, Maria Torres

During the 2021 CCI Summit, arts and culture creators, administrators and funders engaged in an open conversation about the impact of COVID-19 on the creative sector, the role of arts in recovery and how arts philanthropy must change to support the sector. Since then, feedback has been top of mind for the Arts & Culture Funders Group, and positive shifts in practices have occurred. This session will briefly report on how arts philanthropy has progressed with actions taken and changes yet to come. Time for ongoing candid conversation will inform the continued evolution of philanthropy in service to the community.

Creating a Shared Arts Advocacy Platform for Colorado
Presenters: Meredith Badler, Christin Crampton Day

Through a coordinated statewide advocacy effort, CBCA is working to ensure that arts, culture and the creative industries are valued and supported by policymakers and voters, resulting in economically vibrant, healthy, and equitable communities throughout our state. This initiative will be strengthened by the development of a shared arts advocacy platform and set of priorities. CBCA is beginning the process to get inclusive input into this platform from communities across the state. This community forum at the CCI Summit will be an initial step in that process and an opportunity to share more about CBCA's advocacy work to-date.

And more!

Crested Butte Museum 
Presenter: Glo Cunningham

Location: Crested Butte Museum, 331 Elk Avenue
Crested Butte became a registered National Historic District in 1974 to preserve our distinctive buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Join us on an Elk Avenue Walking Tour to learn about the history of the buildings, mining history, and stories from the community from long time local Gloria Cunningham. The tour begins at the Crested Butte Museum and will last 1.5 hours. 

Expeditionary Art-Making: creating experiences in and about nature    
Presenters: Patrick Mueller, Kristine Whittle

Meeting Location: Registration Table in the Grace Atrium
This workshop takes participants on a hike to explore how art-making happens in natural settings – how to create containers of experience in the sensory richness of a wilderness area, how we create co-imagined spaces that integrate site and artistic contents, and how being in nature transforms dialogs about climate, environmental justice, human relationships, spiritual practice, and other ways we meet the world around us.

Gunnison Tour 
Guides: Celeste Helminski, Anton Sinkewich 

Location: This tour will start at 3pm, in order to allow for travel to Gunnison. It will start at the Gunnison Rec Center bus stop, the first stop from Crested Butte. 
From galleries to makers to creative spaces, come down valley and check out the eclectic collections of creatives, businesses, and nonprofits that make up the newly formed Gunnison Creative District (GCD). This guided tour will shuttle you, or you can follow in your own vehicle, around the boundaries of the GCD and highlight some of the hidden creative gems of Gunnison. The tour ends on Main Street where the evening will feature First Friday ArtWalk and Music from 5 - 8 pm, as well as an after-party benefit concert for the GCD at the IBar Ranch.

A limited number of rooms are available at a discounted rate through Elevation Hotel & Spa. Reduced rate room reservations can be made through this special link.


The EconoLodge Gunnison is also offering discounted rates for June 1 - 3. In order to access them, follow this link to the booking page, enter the summit dates for check-in/out, and the discounted rates will show as an option.

Explore Crested Butte and Extend Your Stay in the Gunnison Valley!

  • Enjoy the 750+ miles of singletrack on foot or bike. Head over to Big Al’s Bicycle Heaven to rent a bike or purchase merchandise for your adventures. As a CCI participant, you will receive 10% off bike rentals. 
  • Wander in the historic downtown area. Visit the Crested Butte Museum and sign up for a historic tour.  
  • Enjoy a movie in the recently reopened Majestic Theater, the only theater within an 81 mile radius of the Gunnison Valley. 
  • Take yourself on a public art stroll
  • Schedule a tasting tour and enjoy high mountain rum at Montanya Distillers
  • Catch the FREE RTA bus from Crested Butte to Gunnison and participate in their First Friday ArtWalk and Music from 5:00 - 8:00 PM. The event highlights the arts and creative flair in Gunnison with a walkable event at a collection of galleries, restaurants, and shops. Come out and join the community for free live music, art appreciation, shopping, and dining.
  • Head over to the I Bar Ranch Friday night for a live concert featuring the Soul and Roots band Southern Avenue. Gates will open at 7:00 PM with a local opener at 7:30 PM and the headliner at 8:30 PM. Please visit their website for more info and tickets. CCI Summit attendees will receive a ticket discount by using promo code "Gunnylove" . Overnight camping is available at the I Bar Ranch if you wish to stay the night. 

Colorado Creative Industries and our local partners are adhering to local public health guidelines—for the safety of attendees, exhibitors, staff and the community. You must follow all posted instructions while visiting CCI events and activities. An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. I acknowledge that participation in CCI events and activities brings some risk and I do hereby assume responsibility for my own well-being. I will follow all local public health guidance, and all posted instructions while visiting CCI events and activities.

The summit is an annual opportunity for experienced creatives and emerging leaders to sit side-by-side, learn from each other, and improve Colorado’s statewide creative community.

All sponsors have the opportunity to include one giveaway in conference bags at their own expense. Please arrange for pickup, delivery or shipping of these items no later than Friday, May 12, 2023. You may read more about sponsorship opportunities in the 2023 Summit Sponsorship Packet.

Platinum Sponsor – $5,000

As a platinum sponsor, you will receive:

  • 5 conference registrations
  • 1 vendor table
  • the opportunity to contribute marketing materials to welcome bags and vendor tables
  • name and linked logo recognition as a Platinum sponsor in the event program, website, on-site signage
  • reserved seating at the head table during large group events/meals and Governor’s Awards

Gold Sponsor – $3,000

As a gold sponsor, you will receive:

  • 3 conference registrations
  • 1 vendor table
  • the opportunity to contribute marketing materials to welcome bags and vendor tables
  • name and linked logo recognition as a Gold sponsor in the event program, website, onsite signage, and individually with a selected sponsorship option
  • reserved seating at the head table during large group events/meals and Governor’s Awards

Silver Sponsor – $1,500

As a silver sponsor, you will receive:

  • 2 conference registrations
  • the opportunity to contribute marketing materials to welcome bags and vendor tables
  • name and linked logo recognition as a Silver sponsor in the event program, website, onsite signage, and individually with a selected sponsorship option

Bronze Sponsor – $750

As a bronze sponsor, you will receive:

  • 1 conference registration
  • the opportunity to contribute marketing materials to welcome bags and vendor tables
  • name and linked logo recognition as a lunch sponsor in the event program, website, and on-site signage
  • the option to work with CCI to develop and facilitate lunch breakout session content or the option to have CCI develop and facilitate the content on behalf of the sponsor

Exhibitor – $500

As an exhibitor, you will receive:

  • 1 conference registration
  • 1 vendor table
  • Company name on website as exhibitor

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