Community Grants Stories: Cultivating Community

Every April, grant recipients from the previous year’s Community Grant Awards submit reports to our team on what they have accomplished in the last year. Reading about how your support has impacted members of our community always brings us joy and we wanted to share that joy with you.

For the next few months, we’ll be sharing stories from some of our 2021 grant recipients, starting with a few stories about how your support strengthens our community.

CB Avalanche Center

CB Avalanche Center’s mission is to prevent the loss of life, limb, and property to natural and human-triggered avalanches in Crested Butte, Mt. Crested Butte and the surrounding backcountry. So many of our community members rely on services provided by the CBAC to inform their decisions when making choices about when and where to explore our local backcountry. This year, their executive director shared stories from both brand new and experienced backcountry users about how the CBAC has impacted their knowledge and sense of safety in experiencing our mountains.

Two personal interactions this winter stand out the most for me as the Executive Director for the Crested Butte Avalanche Center. Our outreach programming included a snowshoe outing with the local senior center. Here are a couple of excerpts from the email they sent us. “Thank you so much for today’s avalanche class on the Slate!!!! It was awesome and I am feeling so lucky and grateful that you are in this community and willing to share your skills with others!!” “What a lovely day. Such a gorgeous spot and lots of great learning.” Then, while skiing in the mountains I met a couple of avid backcountry skiers from Alaska and they commented that of all the avalanche centers they use, ours provided the most comprehensive and detailed information saying, “This community is lucky to have you.” Reaching both new and experienced users is something we strive for every day.

Thank you, CB Avalanche Center, for providing valuable knowledge to help keep our community safer.


CB Music Festival

With a mission to present an annual performing arts festival by outstanding artists, the CB Music Festival is probably best known for their many summer performances in the north valley and music camps serving youth. But they also give back to our community by offering music programming throughout the Gunnison Valley. This year, they shared a touching story about a program they gave at the Gunnison Valley Health Senior Care Center that made our hearts swell.

One of the most impactful moments of the season was our first concert at the GVH Senior Care Center, where I met Mary for the first time. Mary is a dementia patient who uses a wheelchair and isn’t fully aware of where she is or why she is there. When we began our program, we were uncertain of what the response to classical music would be, as many of the residents had expressed that they didn’t really know much about it. However, as Emily Ondracek Peterson began to play a sonata, Mary moved her way across the room toward Emily to repeat the words “beautiful, beautiful” as a tear ran down her cheek. This was truly a moment I will always treasure.

Thank you, CB Music Festival, for bringing joy to community members through music.

Gunnison Arts Center

The Gunnison Arts Center cultivates and promotes the arts in the community by unleashing creativity, connecting people, and enriching cultural horizons. Like many arts organizations during the pandemic, the Gunnison Arts Center had to pivot and figure out new ways to deliver on their mission when they couldn’t keep their doors open to the community. Especially in a time of isolation for so many people, virtual programs offered by arts organizations like the Gunnison Arts Center provided a much-needed sense of community and connection for members of the community who lived alone. Here’s a story from one of their participants:

As an older adult, Jennifer was very secluded during the height of the pandemic. She was lucky enough to have good internet access and digital personal devices she was familiar with so she put them to use. Jennifer raves about the Gunnison Arts Center classes and events she was able to participate in while sheltering at home. She says, “I even got supplies for the art classes in the mail from the GAC when it was necessary!” Jennifer commented, “Creating and interacting with teachers and others virtually during the pandemic was a joy for me in an uncertain time.” When the light began to show at the end of the pandemic tunnel, Jennifer began to rejoin in-person classes donning a mask. She now says, “It brightens up my day to be participating in activities at the GAC where we can create while meeting and chatting with friends again.”

Thank you, Gunnison Arts Center, for providing connection and beauty to our community!

Support Community Grants

Support for Community Grants and other CFGV programs allows us to support the nonprofit organizations that enhance the vibrancy of our community.

We will announce our 2022 Community Grant Award Winners at Here for Good: A Community Celebration on July 13. Please join us to hear more about the impact our nonprofits have on our community.

Click here to give!