Community Leadership

Supporting the Arts in Park County

Background

Park County has a long history as a center of Montana’s arts culture. For many years, we have celebrated being an eclectic community where ranchers and artists sit side by side at the bar, enriching each other’s lives one conversation – and drink – at a time. Emboldened by its artistic past and supported by a strong slate of arts-focused nonprofits, a new generation of artists is putting down roots in Park County. As Park County continues to evolve, it is incumbent on us to ensure that Park County’s arts culture remains healthy and sustainable.

The We Will Park County community survey provides additional insight into our residents’ perceptions and concerns about current issues in Park County. By overwhelming numbers, Park County residents expressed concern that our shifting economy will lead to a loss of community identity and culture. Community members told us that they value the arts and cultural opportunities in Park County, and many consider it one of the top three things they like most about living here.

2023 Park County Arts Assessment

In the fall of 2023, the Park County Community Foundation conducted a comprehensive assessment of the arts to better understand current needs and challenges. This assessment revealed an enthusiastic focus on a powerful vision for the future of the arts in Park County, along with a robust list of opportunities and priorities to move that vision forward.

Launch of the Park County Arts Council

To help realize a coordinated vision for the arts in Park County, the Park County Community Foundation is working to establish a Park County Arts Council. Comprised of Park County residents with a passion for the arts, the Arts Council will serve these important roles:

  • Support the development of a broad strategic vision for the arts in Park County.
  • Work with the Park County Community Foundation team to finalize and execute recommendations outlined in the community needs assessment report.
  • Collaborate with Park County Community Foundation staff to provide insight for future funding opportunities to the Park County arts community.

More information about the roles and responsibilities of arts council participation is available below; those who wish to be involved are invited to contact us via an Expression of Interest form that can be found HERE. If you prefer to complete a paper version of this form, please call the Park County Community Foundation Office at 406-224-3920.

The deadline to complete an Expression of Interest form is Thursday, February 8th. Arts Council members will be selected by the end of February, and working sessions will commence in March.

Structure of the Arts Council:

  • Minimum of 8 council members.
  • Representation from across the county with diverse backgrounds, including: working artists, nonprofit arts organizations, for-profit arts enterprises, educators, elected officials, governmental representatives, and concerned community members.
  • Reflective of a mix of art passions: music, theater, literature, painting, sculpture, etc.

Time Commitment:

  • Minimum of 2-year commitment is requested.
  • An anticipated 20-30 hour commitment per year
  • 2024 meetings to include monthly and quarterly meetings as needed.

Expectations of Arts Council volunteers:

  • Have a demonstrated interest in and commitment to collaboration.
  • Committed to leveraging skills and expertise in supporting the council.
  • Interested in finalizing a strategic vision and actionable strategies for the arts.
  • Willingness to be present, learn, be creative and work hard.
  • Ability to participate in 2-hour mini-retreat in March 2024 (date TBD) and monthly or quarterly meetings throughout the year.
  • Willingness to spend additional time as required to review materials, etc.