Passing the palette

Nancy Kramer retires from Steamboat Springs Arts Council

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After a 13-year tenure as the executive director of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, Nancy Kramer has announced her retirement.

She said she will miss the view from her office.

"Literally, it's spectacular," Kramer said. "But I am going off to do other things, and I'm excited to think that I can have a more flexible schedule and have more time to spend with my husband."

Kramer will continue to work through the end of the year and will keep her schedule open through next summer -- until the Arts Council finds a suitable replacement.

"There is an unusual set of talents required for signing someone for that particular job," said Nora Parker, the Arts Council board president. "That person needs to have a good combination of management skills, diplomacy, knowledge and a passion for the arts."

Although Parker said there were too many accomplishments in Kramer's long tenure to list, she thinks Kramer did a great job of keeping a lot of diverse interests in mind.

"What she brought (to the Arts Council) was a very broad view of how the arts can be a significant part of the community," Parker said. "And we always referred to her as a cock-eyed optimist. She always kept us on the positive side of things."

Parker also is an affiliate of the Arts Council because of her involvement in the Yampa Valley Ceili Society.

"What's important from my perspective is the support for small arts organizations," she said. "She felt very strongly about that."

Kramer will use her retirement from the Arts Council to pursue her art and passions.

"I want to get back into singing," she said. "And we want to travel. I'll be 60 in less than a year and a half -- it's that time to get toward that real retirement. I'm referring to this as receding or downsizing."

Kramer also plans to teach cooking and leadership classes at Colorado Mountain College and thinks moving on is a healthy transition for the Arts Council.

"I'm kind of excited that the position is going to be taken to the next level by new blood," Kramer said. "Some nonprofits have a perpetual leader, and it's healthy to change that out once in a while."

Kramer thinks the staff has been doing a great job of increasing the quality of the organization's programming.

"I feel really proud of a lot of accomplishments, and my body of work," Kramer said. "I put a lot of things in place for someone else to push forward."

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