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Sam Gappmayer Will Lead the Fine Arts Center as Director

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August 2008

The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center announces the appointment
of Sam Gappmayer as Chief Executive Officer.

Gappmayer, who has over 20 years experience as a curator and museum director, will come to Colorado Springs from the Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Ketchum, Idaho, where he served as the Executive Director
since 2002.

“I’m completely honored by the invitation,” said Gappmayer, “I was drawn to the Fine Arts Center for many reasons: the beautiful, iconic building; the unique multidisciplinary nature of the Center; and the strong and dedicated staff and community volunteers.

“Plus, I have a strong affinity to the Rocky Mountain Corridor; I grew up in Montana and I have a tremendous appreciation for the art and culture of the region.”

Gappmayer replaces Shawn Raintree, who has been serving the FAC as the Interim President/CEO since September of 2007. Gappmayer is expected to begin his duties in early October.

“Sam Gappmayer has a significant history of achievement in taking the arts organizations he has served to higher ground,” said Jon Stepleton, Chair of the FAC Board of Trustees. “And he has done so in a highly collaborative way, with great integrity, openness and sense of community connection."

“He truly understands and shares the high aspirations of the FAC in our museum, performing arts and education programming. Throughout the interview process, the Search Committee and staff found Sam to be an individual with vision, integrity and boundless energy for the arts. Sam is an engaging relationship-builder. We are on our way to becoming an even more extraordinary place of discovery and inspiration.”

At the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Gappmayer was known for his innovative, community-oriented collaborations and strategic partnerships with programming. This approach resulted in sustainable growth; the Sun Valley Center more than doubled its annual income from 2002 through 2008.

The Center, under Gappmayer’s direction, has featured:

  • World-class art by leading contemporary artists such as Shahzia Sikander, Walton Ford and Kiki Smith
    in exhibition galleries in both Ketchum and Hailey;


  • A Performing Arts department that offers classical music, dance, film and a summer concert series
    that has included Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson and Lyle Lovett;

  • An Education Program with classes, workshops and lectures that has featured humanists and authors
    like Dr. E.O. Wilson, Terry Tempest Williams and Louise Erdrick;

  • An annual wine auction was recently recognized by Wine Spectator as the seventh best charity wine
    auction in the country; net income tripled for the event in six years;

  • Plus, an annual Arts & Crafts Festival currently in its 40th year.
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