The Estes Arts District's mission is to cultivate excitement, promote interaction, and create memorable experiences through creative endeavors for the betterment of the Estes Valley.
Long drawn to its beautiful mountain landscape, highly creative people have found Estes Park to be a special place of retreat, personal growth, and renewal.
Since the town's early years, well-known visual artists such as Albert Bierstadt, Charles Partridge Adams, R.H. Tallant, Lyman Byxbe, and Birger Sandzén made this mountain community their home. Estes Park also enjoyed a rich performance, musical, and innovation history. In the early 1900s, F.O. Stanley constructed concert-quality violins and the Stanley Hotel. He invented the Stanley Steamer and financed the invention of dry-plate photography, which was the forerunner of motion picture film. In 1942, Rocky Ridge, one of the oldest summer music programs in the country, was founded by pianist Beth Miller Harrod.
The Estes Arts District continues this rich cultural heritage. It is an inclusive organization that embraces a broad definition of art including the visual, performance, and literary arts; craft manufacturing (for example: brewed, culinary, and handmade goods); and all other creative expressions of the human spirit.
It is the vision of this organization that Estes Park is recognized as a lively and diverse arts destination which drives economic growth, enriches the quality of life, and builds upon its rich cultural heritage.
The Estes Arts District is a federally designated 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Charles Partridge Adams builds a tradition of making and selling art in Estes Park.
In 1900, Adams began renting a studio in Estes Park during the summer months. In 1905, he built a studio called "The Sketchbox" on Fish Creek Road (a building which stood until 2003, when it was demolished for a development). Adams was so successful that by the end of the first summer he was able to pay off the cost of building his studio-gallery and the land upon which it stood. His paintings were purchased by visitors to nearby Rocky Mountain National Park and taken home to all parts of the country.