The Steamboat Springs Arts Council has been supporting arts and culture in our community, operating out of the 1908 historic Train Depot (The Eleanor Bliss Center for the Arts) since 1972. We contribute a variety of art and cultural engagement opportunities to Routt County residents and visitors including: visual arts exhibitions for established and emerging artists, educational programming, youth creativity camps, arts and cultural special events. We also support affiliate and artist members through program collaboration, marketing assistance, fiscal sponsorships, and education opportunities. Each of our programs and events encourage art exploration, self-expression, collaboration, creative thinking, social interaction, and occupational proficiency within the walls of a historical treasure that we continue to preserve and restore. 



The Steamboat Springs Arts Council is devoted to supporting and promoting arts and culture in the Yampa Valley. We achieve this through planning, production and collaborating with arts and humanities programs and initiatives that have a positive educational, cultural and economic impact for our community. As well as being excellent stewards of the 1908 historic train depot.

The Steamboat Springs Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, supported by our annual members, audiences and local businesses. Large support has been provided by private donation, the City of Steamboat Springs, and regional and national grants.


SSAC currently has 8 volunteer board members. Our dedicated board members provide both strategic leadership and steady guidance, with a focus on financial sustainability. Tasked with legal obligations of fiduciaries they ensure that our nonprofit’s assets serve a public benefit. Our amazing board members also serve the role of community leaders, cheerleaders for the Arts Council’s mission, and ambassadors to donors, volunteers, and participants of our events and programming.

2017 Board members: 

Jim Kissane, President,

Sharon Pace, Vice President

Betse Grassby, Secretary

Colleen Peabody, Finance Committee Chair

Candice Jones, Visual Arts Committee Chair

Matt Eidt, Creative District Chair

John Grassby, Attorney

Sue Oehme, Past President

Volunteer Committees:

  • Visual Arts – Kim Keith (Executive Director), Candice Jones (Board Chair), Sue Oehme, Dona Steele, Sharon Pace, Cher Dooley, Jess Pickett, Karen Desjardin, Priscilla Jones, Barbara King
  • Finance – Kim Keith (Executive Director), Denise Bohart Brown (Book Keeper), Jim Kissane (Board Chair), Colleen Peabody (Board Liason)


In 1906 prominent members of Steamboat Springs raised funds to bring the railroad to the rural mountain town. The impact of the arrival of the railroad to Steamboat was tremendous, the economy and population of the entire Yampa Valley were drastically changed. Regular passenger service ran through 1968 at which time passenger service was cancelled due to improved means of transportation to the area. Still today, trains full of coal from the Moffat County mines pass by frequently.

The Depot was abandoned in 1968 with the loss of passenger service and was deeded to the City of Steamboat Springs from Denver and the Rio Grande Western Railroad Co. In 1978 the Depot received National Register of Historic Places Designation.

Eleanor Bliss, Carol Finoff & friends founded the Steamboat Springs Arts Council in 1972. Eleanor led a “Save the Depot” campaign in 1980 and saved the historic Depot building from being condemned, while rehabilitating it for use as a full time community arts center. The beloved Art Depot has gone through many evolutions through the years and remains a cherished historic landmark that celebrates the artistic nature of the area. The Steamboat Springs Arts Council continues to lease the building from the City of Steamboat Springs and provides unmatched support for arts and culture in our community.

SSAC Programs:

Visual Arts (exhibitions 6 x year)

Steamboat Writer’s Group (1 x week plus annual conference)

Public Art 

Steamboat Theatrical Society (1 x week)

Education Programming:

  • Young at Art Creativity Camps (5-9 weeks in Summer each year)
  • Adult art education (monthly in conjunction with the feature exhibitions)
  • Create Space
  • Volunteer program
  • Community collaborations


Art Events:

  • Art in the Park
  • Cabaret
  • All Arts Festival 
  • Writer’s Workshop
  • ART-Tini
  • Holidays in the Rockies
  • Halloween Festivities
  • Annual Membership Meeting
  • Various community collaborations including Winter Carnival Snow Sculptures



Tuesday - Friday 11am - 5pm and Saturday and Sunday 11am – 3pm

Our galleries are closed between exhibitions.

Opening Receptions are on the First Friday of the month and coincide with the First Friday Artwalk in downtown Steamboat Springs.