In July 2008 over 100 people came together to implement an idea that had been discussed over the years in Allenspark: a community gathering place, open to all, supporting local art and music, serving the community, and providing visitor services. This gathering place, called The Old Gallery, is operated by the Allenspark Community Cultures Council (ACCC), a broad-based non-profit community organization formed to establish and operate a gathering place for residents and visitors in the Allenspark area. Prior to ACCC’s purchase of The Old Gallery, there was no building in Allenspark open to all and dedicated entirely to community activities and visitor services. ACCC is a private non-profit corporation, is not supported by tax dollars, and is not affiliated with any government entity.
Planning for the organization was open to the entire community. Public meetings were held and a community survey was conducted to determine interest in the project and the specific proposed activities, as well as to solicit additional suggestions from the community. ACCC’s name derives from its mission statement: to promote the different cultures of Allenspark: education, wellness, arts, caring for the environment, and hospitality. By October 2008, an interim board had been formed, Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, application for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status had been filed with the IRS, and an initial fundraising campaign raised $100,000 from over 200 individuals; enough to make a down-payment on the 1.4 acre property. The property includes two structures, one 70-year-old-two-story building (2,594 sq. ft.), and the other a 95-year old log cabin (920 sq. ft.). Because of its location and size, residents recognized its suitability as the ideal location for a community gathering place. By 2009 a permanent board of directors and advisory board had been established and 501(c)(3) status had been granted retroactive to ACCC’s date of incorporation, August 10, 2008. The building was named, “The Old Gallery” at a 2009 public meeting. Activities and programs have expanded as more and more people have suggested programs and activities and implemented them. Each year more activities have been added, more people from the community have participated in activities, and gradual progress has been made toward upgrading the physical facility. The board continues to be open to new activities consistent with ACCC’s mission.