In 1988, a group of like-minded Big Sky residents came together with an idea: to bring world-class arts and music to the growing resort community.

That summer, the Miami New World Symphony performed in the Meadow Village, and the following year the organization – then called the Big Sky Association for the Arts – was granted federal nonprofit status.

Now called the Arts Council of Big Sky, the group is celebrating its 25th anniversary of bringing music and arts to the mountains. What started as a purely volunteer-driven group is now a full-fledged dynamic organization with one full time and two part time staff members, along with a dedicated board and volunteer base.

This summer, ACBS will bring 13 events to Big Sky – all but one of them free – and programming is continually expanding to meet the needs of this burgeoning mountain community.

Over the years, ACBS has supported the Big Sky community in a number of ways, including purchasing instruments for Ophir School’s string program, and inviting artists to the school for uplifting and inspiring performances for the next generation.

ACBS also produced two sold-out concerts at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center this winter and held an art auction that generated more than $50,000 in original artwork sales – something unprecedented in Big Sky. Next December, the organization is bringing Montana Ballet’s “Nutcracker” to Big Sky.

The Arts Council is proud of what’s been accomplished in the past 25 years, and is excited for the future, said ACBS Director Brian Hurlbut.

To be a part of that future – whether by making a donation, joining the board of directors, or volunteering – please call (406) 995-2742 or visit bigskyarts.org.

The Arts Council of Big Sky is supported by Creighton Block Gallery.