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Steamboat Magazine

Arts, Culture and Music

06/18/2018 09:12AM ● By Alesha Damerville

Image courtesy of Opera Steamboat

Designated as one of Colorado’s Creative Districts, Steamboat Springs is the hub of arts and entertainment for Northwest Colorado.


Established headliners perform at the base of Howelsen Hill. The series, which opens in late June, includes four concerts, plus the End-of-Summer Jam (Sunday, Sept. 2). Food and drink vendors and kids’ activities are on-site. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., opening act, 6 p.m., main act, 7:30 p.m. / 970-846-5086


Strings Music Pavilion is home to Strings’ summer concert series. This renowned festival features orchestral, chamber, choral, world, blues, jazz and rock music along with a youth and family series and free weekly lunchtime concerts at Yampa River Botanic Park. Peter Frampton is one of the highlights of the 2018 lineup. / 970-879-5056 


This newly renovated historic building will astound even the most sophisticated museum-goers. Summer begins with the Oil Painters of America conference, Tuesday,

May 29-Friday, June 1, which culminates with the grand opening of the OPA national show on Friday, June 1, 5-8 p.m. The exhibit, displayed throughout the summer, features 250 paintings by OPA members. Summer draws to a close with the SAM Plein Air event, Saturday, Sept. 22-Saturday, Sept. 29. The resulting plein air exhibit is on display at SAM through November. / 970-870-1755


Live theater, stand-up comedy, nationally and internationally known musicians– even jugglers – perform throughout the summer at the Chief Theater in downtown Steamboat. Located in an historic theater building, the Chief also offers youth theater workshops and is home to the Chief Players, a group of local actors. The Live Western Melodrama takes the stage Thursdays, July 12-Aug. 9. / 970-871-4791


A rustic setting and world-renowned instructors create an unparalleled educational experience for young dancers, actors and equestrians at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts Camp, just outside of Steamboat in Strawberry Park. Students range from 7 years old to college-age. Audiences reap the rewards of this camp experience at 20 performances by students, professional artists and faculty. One highlight of the summer is the New Works Festival, when guest playwrights, actors and theater companies debut original work that will soon be performed on a larger stage. / 970-879-7125


Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 9-11

Will you marry me? Opera Steamboat’s summer festival includes a new twist on this centuries-old art. “The Proposal,” a short opera by Milton Granger, is the story of a woman who receives a marriage proposal. Her five alter-egos consider the proposal in this adults-only performance, which is being performed at small venues. “Don Giovanni,” Mozart’s classic opera, takes center stage in the 2018 festival. Artistic Director Andres Cladera returns to Steamboat to conduct this classic story based on the legend of Don Juan.

Internationally renowned singers journey to Steamboat to perform in this production. Opera Steamboat performers are also slated to present “Cunning Little Vixen,” which recounts the life of a clever fox, in a version especially suited for children.

The three-week Opera Institute is a program for aspiring artists, who receive coaching, attend master classes and perform arias, concerts and at least one of the three featured operas. Admission is by application only. / 970-879-1996


Both visual and performing arts have a home at The Depot. Rotating exhibits are showcased in the Eleanor Bliss Gallery, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The historic train depot also hosts adult workshops, dance classes, yoga, events and children’s activities. Summer Kids Camps run weekdays, Monday, June 11-Friday, Aug. 17. / 970-879-9008


Art galleries and other venues throughout Steamboat open their doors the first Friday evening of every month in what has become a popular social gathering of art aficionados. Wine, food and entertainment often complement the artwork. Pick up the Yampa Valley Arts & Culture Guide for a map of galleries and other stops. / 970-846-8119


Routt County history comes alive at the Tread of Pioneers Museum, housed in a 1901 Queen Anne-style Victorian home with authentic furnishings. Two permanent displays, Ski Town USA® and Pioneer Kids Discovery Exhibit, are accompanied by rotating exhibits:

“Cultural and Heritage Landscapes of Northwest Colorado” and an exhibit focusing on the founding of towns throughout the county. Weekly walking tours include the Olympic Heritage Tour and the Downtown Historical Walking Tour, plus tours of individual historic properties. 

Other Tread of Pioneers programs include open houses and Pioneer Days at the Historic Mesa Schoolhouse, Lulie Crawford’s Wildlfowers and Watercolors Art Program and an open house at the Crawford Home – see website for dates. A full agenda of children’s activities is slated for summer 2018. / 970-879-2214


Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is the centerpiece of Piknik Theatre’s 2018 outdoor festival, Friday, July 27-Sunday, Aug. 12. This classic performance will rotate with an original musical comedy, to be devised during the festival. Relax on the lawn and watch performances at Yampa River Botanic Park, Bud Werner Memorial Library and Colorado Mountain College. (tentative) A youth theater workshop, open to ages 12-18, is scheduled for Monday-Friday, Aug. 6-10, at the Depot. / 970-355-9403


Not many rural areas can boast a library in the top 10 must-see stops for visitors. But Steamboat’s library is not only a sustainable architectural masterpiece, it is also home to a litany of events for adults and children.

From Storytimes to kids’ book clubs, from the children’s wing to its aquarium, kids love the library. So do adults, who not only gather at the library’s coffee shop, but also in Library Hall, which hosts diverse events, including author talks, films, music, cultural exchanges and speakers. / 970-879-0240


Monday-Sunday, Sept. 10-16

This week-long event celebrates traditional and historic Western art forms. The festival comprises educational and entertainment pieces and includes local artists, performers and writers. Experience life in Steamboat Springs the way it was 100-plus years ago. Workshops include Western Nature Photography and Lost Art. A guided heritage tour is scheduled, as well as nature/art hikes, cowboy poetry, dancing, a chuck wagon dinner, a fine art show and a campfire.