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Awards for Excellence Spotlight: Creede Repertory Theatre

Tags: Awards for Excellence

Recently, El Pomar Foundation
awarded more than $200,000 in grants to seven outstanding nonprofits from across the state through the Awards for Excellence program. Over the next few weeks, we would like to highlight the impact Awards for Excellence winners are having on the people of Colorado.

As the mining industry declined in Colorado, so did many of the state’s small mountain communities. Some once-thriving towns like St. Elmo, Crystal, and Animas Forks all but fell off the map. Others like Aspen, Telluride, and Breckenridge found new life as destination ski areas. Yet one Colorado town in Mineral County took a slightly different path.

The Creede Repertory Theatre was founded in 1966 when 12 students from the University of Kansas came to Creede, Colorado in response to a letter from the Junior Chamber of Commerce and a local pastor. The mining industry was in decline, and the town needed a new economic driver. KU Student Steve Grossman was the only one to heed the call, and with 11 other students they launched a summer theatre series in the town’s historic opera house.

47 years later, the Creede Repertory Theatre is a thriving cultural institution, bringing thousands of visitors to Mineral County every summer. In 2005, USA Today tagged CRT as one of the “10 great places to see lights way off Broadway” (1,954 miles off Broadway, to be exact).

“There is just something about this place that allows artists to do their best work and audiences to open up their hearts,” said artistic director Jessica Jackson.

Want to learn more about CRT? Watch the video below: