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.
Interim Chair of the Commission
Jenny Birnie has served as the Executive Director of the Crested Butte Center for the Arts for the past 12 years. Jenny has a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Denver and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Communication from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Jenny has a long history as a dedicated and passionate leader who is committed to building community support, igniting collaboration and consensus among organizations, and utilizing performance measures to improve overall outcomes for organizations.
Jenny was instrumental in supporting the Town of Crested Butte to become a certified Creative District by the State of Colorado in 2015 and currently serves as the Chair of the Commission. Jenny is a strong advocate of the economic impact of the arts and believes the Crested Butte Creative District attracts visitors, creative entrepreneurs and artists to our community, infusing new energy and innovation, and enhancing the economic and civic capital of the Gunnison Valley.
Vice-chair of the Commission
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.
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.
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.
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.
Born in Idaho and raised in Wyoming, Harry always found Colorado to be that special place we hold in our heart – vast, beautiful, rugged with an ever changing environment. His profession in theatre brought him to Crested Butte as Managing Artistic Director of the Crested Butte Mountain Theatre, a long-lasting community theatre that has helped to define what community is all about. As Harry puts it, “I’m proud to serve as a commissioner on the Creative Arts Commission. The beauty of Art is the soul of our community.”
Nancy Woolf is a relative newcomer to Crested Butte. She has lived in big cities and small towns and much prefers the small town. As a frequent traveler throughout the mountain West, she’s developed an awareness of what makes a successful and interesting community. Crested Butte called her name by its special blend of amazing beauty combined with its vibrant arts scene. As both a retired San Francisco attorney and former leader of a small town non-profit, she believes that citizen involvement fuels the lifeblood of a community. She is excited to support the lively arts scene here in Crested Butte.
Brooke Harless MacMillan is a writer whose work has appeared in several national and international publications including The Denver Post and Lale Magazine. She was a writer for a handful of Colorado newspapers and magazines before moving with her husband to Istanbul in 2012 where she wrote for the Turkish Film Channel. After moving to Scotland in 2014 she completed an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College with a graduate manuscript that sought to capture the oral histories and realities of older people living on the North Sea Coast. She is currently working on a book about those experiences, along with a look at aging and the elderly in our global context. She and her family live in Crested Butte where MacMillan directs the Literary Arts Department for the Crested Butte Center for the Arts.
Crested Butte Town Council Liaisons
Town Council Liaison
Bio Coming Soon
Town Council Liaison
Bio coming soon.
CBCD/Town of Crested Butte Staff
Creative District/Open Space Coordinator – Town of Crested Butte
Mel joined the Crested Butte Creative District staff in May 2018. After growing up on the east coast, Mel became an official Colorado transplant after falling in love with the mountains throughout her studies at Colorado College, where she majored in environmental science. After moving to the Gunnison Valley, Mel spent four years working for both a local food and gardening organization as well as an environmental advocacy non-profit. By working with the Town of Crested Butte, Mel is excited to get the community engaged and interested in the opportunities available through the Creative District.