A Home Base for the Art Base
With a new and permanent home, the Art Base’s successful education and outreach programs, with a focus on the at-risk and underserved, will be even more effective at bridging cultures and bringing people together. Exhibitions feature solo show opportunities for Colorado-based student, emerging, and established artists, with an emphasis on artists living in the Roaring Fork Valley. As a core source of vibrancy and vitality, the Art Base annually attracts over 10,000 visitors.
The Art Base’s central downtown location is critical to their mission as they are walking distance to local schools. In 2017, more than 3,300 youth participants gained enhanced creative thinking, problem solving, and visual literacy skills. On a yearly basis, more than 6,500 hours are spent stimulating the brain in art classes for adults and youth. Every fall, new immigrant students at Basalt High School create an interactive mural that examines self and place, attracting over 1,000 members of the local community—emphasizing the importance of the Base’s proximity to the valley bus route to further access to arts for all.
The Art Base Board of Trustees and the entire staff heartily endorse the land use application, program, and vision recently submitted by Independence Ventures for the development of a portion of the CDC land on the Pan Fork property, to include the donation of 7,000 SF of “free dirt” to the Art Base. The Board of Trustees feel confident that they can arrange for the financial support that will be required to privately fund the building.
The Town of Basalt has been a generous landlord to the Art Base for seven years—although the Center continues to operate on a relatively short-term rental basis. It will be critical for the future of the organization to find a permanent home, which will provide financial viability for the Art Base and the return of a needed public building space to the Town of Basalt. The proposal by Independence Ventures for a 1% RETA on the free market town homes will provide valuable ongoing financial support to Art Base operations, and is in keeping with RETA models at comparable nonprofits in Basalt.
Taking guidance from the efforts of the Our Town process, Downtown Area Citizens Commission, and extensive deliberations by the Basalt Planning and Zoning Commission—the Art Base Board of Trustees believes the proposed plan achieves and reflects key community objectives including: 1) Art center and food and beverage components that create important economic stimulus, and are complementary to the park plans 2) Free market and affordable housing that will bring year-round life to the downtown and provide foot traffic to support diverse and sustainable retail, and 3) A new home for the Basalt Chamber of Commerce and a new Visitor Center will drive tourism and provide clear messaging about Basalt as a vibrant town.
With synergies between art, event space, and food and beverage, a great public gathering place will be created for youth, families, and adults alike.
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