Cultivating Creative Communities

Cultivating Creative Communities

At Engine 8, we feel fortunate to call Bozeman, Montana home. Like several Rocky Mountain towns, Bozeman has its jaw-dropping vistas, access to world-class outdoor recreating and a strong local economy. So what gives the Bozeman area its X factor? Look past the typical mountain town amenities Bozeman has to offer and you’ll find a community rooted in creativity, DIY spirit and dogged determination — a community of entrepreneurs, artists, and innovators. It’s this creative spirit that makes the Bozeman area such a special place to work, live, and play.

A university town with a serious skiing problem, Bozeman has always supported education and the arts. In recent years, this commitment to the arts has expanded beyond the traditional confines of art galleries and symphony halls. Creativity and the idea of art is now a driving force behind Bozeman’s thriving start-up “artrepreneur” scene. Bozeman’s creative community is made up of all types of artrepreneurs such as woodworkers, authors, makers, brewmasters, architects, goat farmers, computer programers, bakers, filmmakers and scientists. Creativity is no longer the sole property of painters and poets.

Creativity is a mindset, a way of looking at the world with bright eyes and wonderment. It’s this curiosity and thirst for exploration that fuel artrepreneurs in small towns and cities all over the country. Creative communities like Bozeman have blossomed due to the tireless efforts of arts advocates and community leaders who have worked passionately to foster the arts through the years.

Engine 8 has always supported the arts through collaboration, volunteerism and monetary contributions. For over 25 years we’ve worked closely with many different creative business owners and arts organizations. In addition, we’ve advocated for the arts through grassroots efforts and countless side projects that have benefitted our creative communities. We believe in the power of creativity and we want to do our part in cultivating creative communities.

Recently, Engine 8 has been fortunate to work with, and support, many outstanding Montana artists and arts organizations. Here are three such groups we’d like to applaud:

Sweet Pea Festival

For over 35 years the Sweet Pea Festival has been committed to its mission of “promoting and cultivating the arts” in Bozeman, Montana. Sweet Pea is a three-day festival of the arts held every August in beautiful Lindley Park. More than you average arts and crafrts festival, Sweet Pea is a grassroots community celebration featuring a children’s run, Main Street parade, music of all genres, performances by local theatre and dance troupes, workshops, family-friendly entertainment and activities, a flower show, a beer and wine garden featuring Montana microbrews, and over 100 arts and crafts vendors.

Bozeman Film Society

bozeman film societyThe Bozeman Film Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the best independent, documentary and world cinema films to Bozeman, Montana. For over three decades BFS has screened films that engage, entertain and foster an understanding of the world around us. Special guest speakers over the years have offered unique insights into filmmaking and sparked dialogue on important issues and world events.The BFS also partners with Friends of The Story Mansion each August to present Story Under the Stars.

The Shane Lalani Center for the Arts

shane lalani center livingston mtLocated in a renovated school in the heart of Livingston, Montana, the Shane Lalani Center for the Arts is dedicated to building community through various arts programming, classes and events. Since it opened, The Shane Center has become a hub for all types of creative activities and community gatherings. From dance classes to wedding receptions, there is always something happening at the Shane Center. The Center is also home to a thriving theatre company — mounting top-notch community theatre productions, classes, educational outreach programming throughout the year.