Lawrence Block has been named the new director of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council.

Photo by John F. Russell

Lawrence Block has been named the new director of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council.

Steamboat Springs Arts Council welcomes new director

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— While growing up, Lawrence Block didn’t have a choice, nor did he want one.

Art was everywhere in his family and deemed a modern-day necessity that captured growth and creativity.

Block’s daughter danced. His son, Greg, is rapidly becoming one of the most successful artists in Colorado. And now Block will have his hand in the arts scene across Steamboat Springs.

Block recently was named the executive director of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council.

His first day is Friday.

“There is the tendency in our culture to deconstruct the world around us and get more detailed,” he said. “I think it’s important to have a more holistic view of the world. With that, I think art is a universal language that allows artists to observe on more soulful level.”

Block takes over for Heather Shore, who was hired in late July to take over the Arts Council. Shore was forced to resign because of health problems.

“He’s extremely passionate about the arts and especially arts in the community,” said Grant Bursek, who is on the Arts Council board. “His communication style is going to be instrumental in leading the Arts Council. He’s patient and understanding and is an excellent listener.”

Block came to Steamboat full time in 1997. Although he doesn’t have a traditional background in arts, he has a lot of intangibles that should make him successful.

He spent time managing commercial real estate investment firms, walking away from that in 2006. He also spent seven years on the board of trustees for the Waldorf Schools.

He has spent the past several years as an ambassador for Steamboat Ski Area and substitute teaching in the South Routt School District.

Although he officially starts Friday, Block already has been receiving calls and emails and said he’s excited to open communication.

His first plan is to contact all affiliated organizations, past directors and board members and figure out what has worked and what hasn’t.

From there, he wants to develop a plan moving forward that’s beneficial to all parties.

“It’s important for me to establish sincere relationships with the arts community,” he said. “I want to move forward in a collaborative way. There are tremendous opportunities to collaborate.”

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229, email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @LukeGraham

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