In December, Nancy Kramer retired as executive director of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council after 13 years of exceptional service. During those years, she nurtured local talent, supported and developed arts programs for young and old, managed an expanding staff and volunteers, assisted over 20 affiliate organizations, successfully maneuvered through the maze of nonprofit red tape and fundraising, catered to a multitude of egos, hosted scores of art openings, and celebrated the diversity in our community by making sure the Arts Council's doors were open and welcoming to all.
Always with an appreciation for those who went before her, she built on the SSAC's already significant history in making today's Arts Council the most respected and imitated arts organization in Colorado.
Nancy excelled at juggling multiple tasks. She frequently had to step over piles of papers, props for "Cabaret," a leftover feather boa or a cello just to leave her office at the end of a long day. And her days frequently ended long after dark when the last African dancer or gallery patron left the Depot. One might have suspected Nancy never went home (although her husband claims she did) and just curled up on a mattress upstairs.
Her dedication inspired me to attempt the impossible during my two years as president of the board of directors - I tried to attend every opening, show or performance of the Arts Council and its affiliates. After only six months, the schedule overwhelmed me. But the effort made me appreciate the incredible time, talent and energy it took to oversee those diverse programs from that tiny office upstairs.
Nancy showed selfless devotion to the arts in Steamboat Springs. From Art in the Park to art in public places, Nancy recognized that the arts reflect what is best in human nature - the desire to acknowledge and create beauty. She advocated for the arts to find a place in our daily lives.
I cannot begin to measure the impact Nancy's tenure at the Arts Council has had on writers, artists, children, dancers, musicians and countless other lives in our community, but I know her influence will continue to be felt for years to come.