Chair of the Commission, Marketing and Communications Subcommittee Co-chair
Melissa Mason is the Visual Arts Director for The Center for the Arts in Crested Butte and the Chair of the Creative District Commission. She recently stepped away from her position of many years as Program Director at the Trailhead Children’s Museum in Mount Crested Butte.
Melissa is originally from Reston, Virginia and joined the Crested Butte community in 2002. She holds a Master’s Degree in teaching and Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science, both from The University of Virginia, and has over 20 years of experience teaching art at every level, from toddlers to adults. She also sits on the Arts Alliance of the East River Valley, the Center for the Arts Design Committee, and Paradise Place Advisory Board.
Melissa joined the Creative District Commission because she is passionate about the arts economy in our community and wants to share her skills and expertise on the Commission to help bring Crested Butte artists, businesses, and organizations opportunities and prosperity. She feels privileged to work with the Creative District in its beginning years as passionate community members come together to mold and shape a shared vision surrounding the power of the arts in our valley.
Melissa thoroughly enjoys sharing her love of art with her children, and she feels extremely lucky that she and her husband are raising them in this beautiful, connected, creative, vibrant, innovative, and supportive community.
Sooner McKay is originally from Fruita,Colorado. She started her professional art career in 1995, when she opened her first art gallery in downtown Grand Junction, Colorado while studying theatre at Colorado Mesa University (Mesa State). Sooner left Colorado in 1997 to pursue a career in film, television & commercial production in LA. Since that time her professional endeavors have involved several businesses where creativity and creative leadership played a major role.
Sooner became a Commissioner for the CBCD so she could serve the community with the skills she’s gained through her professional career. She loves Crested Butte for its tight knit community and for its tradition of fostering a sense of freedom to creative people who are a part of the community.
Vice-chair of the Commission, Marketing and Communications Subcommittee Co-chair
You can find the work of Kimbre Woods at her gallery, The Grubstake Gallery, in the heart of Crested Butte’s downtown area. She works in photographic processes from the 1800’s, hand printing and painting photographs. Additionally, Kimbre teachs classes involving historical photographic process through The Center for the Arts, The Trailhead Museum or The Wildflower Festival. Her interest in the Creative District started as soon as she heard word of the initial application. Kimbre is proud of the efforts that she has made with the Creative District to support local creatives and make this a sustainable place for artists to live and work.
Dr. Jeff Taylor
Jeffrey Taylor recently came to the valley from New York to lead Western’s new Master in Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization. He has taught the subject of creative industries and the cultural economy, and also worked as a tour guide in Europe. He has over 20 years of experience in the Art Business, and continues to work as an art appraiser and art forensics expert. He found that Crested Butte had carefully, over many years, assembled an incredibly vibrant cultural scene, and so he was thrilled when asked to join the commission. Jeff believes that nowhere else on the planet is the cocktail of the Arts and Nature so perfectly blended as here in Crested Butte.
Commissioner, Chair of the Events, Education, and Project Subcommittee
Emily Rothman is from Southport, CT and has called Crested Butte home for 23 years. Emily has danced with ballet and modern dance companies and is a certified Pilates instructor. She has taught modern dance and Pilates for the Crested Butte School of Dance and worked in arts administration with the Center for the Arts and the Crested Butte Music Festival. Emily and her husband David have raised two sons in Crested Butte.
As a Commissioner, Emily is excited to help build and guide the CB Creative District, and to serve and represent the local creative community. An important goal that Emily hopes to help the Creative District achieve is to support lifelong arts education in the community.
What Emily loves about Crested Butte, besides hiking, skiing and biking in our spectacular mountains, is the closely-knit local community. Kindness, generosity, creative energy, and passion for the outdoors are a few of the traits that make CB an exceptional place to live.
Bio Coming Soon
Mary Tuck moved to Crested Butte in 1997 as a retired adult educator of Commercial Art/Advertising from the Los Angeles Unified School District. At the same time, she was a professional actress signed with Woody Fincher’s agency doing TV ads, film and videos.
Mary has worked in the graphic art departments for the LA Times, Hughes and FLUOR engineering. She also served as Art Director/Marketing for Rancho Suspension off-road industry. She was also a stewardess for Western Airlines and a public relations and special events manager with GM Automotive Fleet division
Currently, Mary is a part-time art instructor with the Studio, a division of The Center for the Arts, and shows her artwork at three Crested Butte galleries. She is an actress/singer/director with the CB Mountain Theatre, and has served as its President in the past.
Don Seastrum is originally from a small town in Iowa and has been a Colorado resident since 1971. Don has followed two professional paths, one as a painter exhibiting his work both nationally and internationally, the second as a Professor of Art. Don has been involved with higher education for 43 years and for the past eighteen years as a Professor at Western State Colorado University. In May of 2017, upon his retirement, he was awarded the title of Emeritus Professor of Art.
Don is a graduate of Western State College (now WSCU) with a Bachelors degree, his Masters degree if from the University of Denver and his Ph.D. in Fine Art is from the Union Institute.
As a Commissioner Don is seeking to help develop a dynamic arts community in the greater Crested Butte/Gunnison area, while expanding opportunities for local artist to access much needed resources to advance their personal artistic practices.
Creative District/Open Space Coordinator – Town of Crested Butte
As a native of the Colorado’s western slope, Hilary understands the deep connection mountain communities have to place through art and their natural landscape. She feels incredibly lucky to call Crested Butte home and loves its strong community character. When she’s not skiing, biking, or hiking, you can find Hilary catching a dance performance at the Center for the Arts or nestling up with a good book!
Hilary holds a B.A. in Environmental Science and Policy from Duke University and has extensive experience in community engagement and organizing.