Steamboat Arts Council plans 40th anniversary gala |

Steamboat Arts Council plans 40th anniversary gala

— If the Steamboat Springs Arts Council was the Roman Empire, founder Eleanor Bliss would be its empress.

And Arts Council Executive Director Clark Davidson said the current organization hopes to continue to carry on Bliss' legacy.

"I think we are by making the Depot available to the community as much as possible, by striving to support all of the arts in Steamboat Springs and by creating programs for children to get them interested and involved in the arts," he said.

"To participate in the enduring organization … that a dynamic woman like Eleanor Bliss founded, it's a great experience to be a part of."

And what better way to celebrate her legacy and the 40th anniversary of the Arts Council than with an extravagant gala with a futuristic Roman theme.

The annual fundraiser and community appreciation event will take place March 31.

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Called "Caligula in Black," this year's gala will begin at 7 p.m., and tickets are $30 for members and $50 for nonmembers.

Arts Council Artistic Director Park Myers, the mastermind behind the party, said extra attention was paid this year to the finest of details.

From subtle changes in lighting to decorative Roman pools and provocative surprises throughout the evening, Myers aims to create an experience for the Arts Council's guests that can't be replicated.

To do that, he used conceptual elements beyond just picking a theme.

In preparing the event, he looked into the personal history of Caligula, a first century Roman emperor with a maniacal streak and a penchant for lavish parties.

Myers said "Caligula in Black" will be a more refined version of Caligula's image:

"We wanted to do something that speaks to the idea that the Arts Council has a reign and this rich Steamboat history," he said. "It's using this wild history and taking it into the future, this formal world."

Think mystery, masks, private banquettes and a "fun sort of intensity."

The menu will reference old world tastes like dates and grapes, and the historic Depot Art Center will be transformed into a Roman bathhouse.

The invitations are limited edition art prints made by Myers and Christie Ginanni Stepan at Fancy Ink Press, and KPA Productions' Kelly Anzalone is collaborating on technical aspects of the spectacle.

"As a fundraiser, it's to support our ongoing programming, specifically to bring a high caliber of visual arts exhibits," Myers said. "But it's also just to bring together people in support of the Arts Council and celebrate. It's about awareness and good spirits."

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email

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