The Arts Council of Big Sky provides residents, visitors, and artists with premier events, education and creative opportunities in the Arts. Our vision is for Big Sky to remain a beautiful place where the expression, enjoyment and education of the Arts will inspire and sustain a healthy and vibrant community.
What We Do
The Arts Council of Big Sky was founded in 1989 to provide cultural experiences to residents of and visitors to Big Sky. Since then, we’ve grown to be one of the leading non-profit arts organizations in Southwest Montana, by combining our ability to produce high-quality events with our desire to make Big Sky an art-centric community through cultural outreach, public art displays and educational initiatives.
The ACBS is a volunteer driven organization with board of directors that works hard to keep our organization sustainable, reliable and financially viable. Our small, creative staff works equally hard to make sure that we get the most out of our money—85% of our budget is allocated toward programming in a typical year. We’re an organization that has a long and proud history in Big Sky, but we’re only getting started. The future is bright for the arts in Big Sky!
Events: Music in the Mountains free summer concert series; Big Sky Classical Music Festival; Shakespeare in the Parks; Madrigal Dinner; annual ‘Nutcracker’ performance; Auction for the Arts Fundraiser Gala; Telluride MountainFilm on Tour; and many more!
Public Art: Utility/power box wrapping project; sculpture installation at local trailheads; Deborah Butterfield Project (2018); working with developers on Public Art Plan for Big Sky Town Center.
Education/Outreach: Artist classes/workshops; event outreach within local school district; Discover Dance program for school second graders; Big Sky ARTventure program for high school students.
Community Art Center: Our long term goal is to have a permanent facility in the Big Sky Town Center that is dedicated to the Arts; including studio space, visual arts gallery; office space; performance space and more. This would be a signature, legacy project for the Big Sky community.
Wondering who has played at our summer series? Check it out!
2016: Black Lillies; Blitzen Trapper; Band of Heathens; Jamie McLean Band; Todo Mundo; Lukas Nelson; The Iguanas; Amy Helm; DeadPhish Orchestra; Fruition; Cure for the Common
2015: Midnight River Choir; Sons of Bill; Incendio; The Suffers; The Whiskey Gentry; Corb Lund; Royal Southern Brotherhood; The Brothers Comatose; Euforquestra
2014: The Slide Brothers; The Main Squeeze; Red Elvises; Dead Winter Carpenters; Della Mae; Fox Street; Black Lillies; The Sweetback Sisters
2013: California Honeydrops; Eilen Jewell; Deadly Gentlemen; Jeanne Jolly; Mountain Standard Time; Chuck Prophet; Lake Street Dive; Jason Isbell
2012: B-Side Players; Black Lillies; Nicki Bluhm; The Clumsy Lovers; The Elders; John Reischman & the Jaybirds; Mike Beck and the Bohemian Saints; Cold Hard Cash Show; Pinky & the Floyd
2011: Willie “Big Eyes” Smith; Chuck Mead; Head for the Hills; The Mother Hips; The Black Lillies; Cold Hard Cash Show; Dave Walker Band; Keegan Smith; Jackie Greene; Keb ‘Mo
Previous Headliner Events: Doobie Brothers; Willie Nelson; Bonnie Raitt; Robert Cray; Galactic; Ralph Stanley; Taj Mahal; Merle Haggard; The Band; Ricky Skaggs; David Grisman Quintet; Randy Travis; Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; Tanya Tucker, and more!
WE ARE A NONPROFIT
The Arts Council of Big Sky is a Montana 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. The ACBS receives funding from the Big Sky Resort Tax District, local foundations, regional and state grants, individual donations, business sponsorships and ticket sales from various events throughout the year. Help us realize our mission by making a contribution today!
For our Guidestar Profile please click here.
There are many ways you can help!
Meet Our Team
As Executive Director, Brian is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Arts Council and secures the artists for all of our events. He’s been with us since 2001, when he came on board to assist with marketing and public relations, and has been Executive Director since 2009. Originally from western New York, Brian has a BA in International Studies from the University of Buffalo (SUNY) and attended the University of Montana Graduate School of Journalism. When he’s not helping promote the arts in Big Sky, you can usually find him snowboarding, playing the drums, hiking, or floating a river—all with his wife, Lindsie, and two young children, Arlo and Sabine.
Program Outreach and Education Director
Katie Alvin has been involved with Big Sky nonprofits since 2003 and joined the Arts Council in January of 2015. As Program Outreach and Education Director, she is responsible developing connections between our programs and people to ensure that we impact the community in meaningful ways. Katie has lived in Big Sky since 1993, when she came from the midwest for the summer and never looked back. She enjoys hanging out with her family, traveling, outdoor recreation of every kind, photography, and of course, the arts.
Jem Wierenga moved to Big Sky in 2017 after growing up, studying, working and living in Idaho and Oregon. He has been a professional dancer, freelance writer, independent bookseller, and nonprofit professional. His role as Development Director is to build relationships and resources to help sustain a successful Arts Council.