Edwards Ranked #1 for Most Vibrant Arts Community in America for small communities

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Edwards, CO is rated #1 by SMU’s National Center for Arts Research as the Most Vibrant Arts Community in America for micropolitan areas (less than 100,000 population). This acknowledgement was given based on a number of factors.

The Vail Valley, Edwards, CO, offers a diversity of cultural and educational activities suited for both locals and guests. Although best known for outdoor recreation, the cultural scene is well developed, and offers access to theatre, music, arts, and educational experiences meant to enrich the soul and enliven the spirit.

Special event and performance venues abound in nearby towns, including the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater and Vilar Performing Arts Center, which regularly host world-class orchestra and dance performances, globally recognized comedians and musical artists, and political and cultural thought leaders.

Residents and visitors alike are surrounded by special arts events such as Art on the Rockies, the Vail Jazz Festival and the Beaver Creek Arts Festival. Additionally, local organizations and institutions holding regular arts and culture programs include the family-focused Alpine Arts Center, Colorado Mountain College, Walking Mountains Science Center, and the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame.

Edwards is particularly strong in the performing arts, with emphasis on jazz, dance, and music, and it attracts artists who enjoy the mountain way of life. The arts in this town are primarily funded through private giving – the town is in the top 3% in contributed revenue per capita – though the towns and communities have begun to build significant infrastructure to continue this support, leading to the area being in the top 2% in federal arts grants.

In summary, we have a wonderful culture filled with a variety of arts that includes education, entertainment, community support, as well as a variety of mediums including music, crafts, dance, and our engagement with the outdoors. Though Edwards is the central hub for this achievement, the entire Vail Valley played a part in taking the #1 ranking.