" I came for the skiing, I stayed for the [blank]" is a statement you hear fairly often in ski towns. People come for "just a winter season" and end up falling in love with the summers, the community, the mountains - or in Park City, the arts.
Like so many others, skiing is what lured Jory Macomber from his home in New Hampshire. Macomber and his wife, Martha, moved to Park City in 2014 after he accepted a job with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association TEAM Academy as the vice president of athlete career and education. The ski job might’ve lured Macomber to Park City, but the arts are to thank for keeping him here. “For Park City to be a well-rounded and sustainable community, it needs to be more than just a ski town. If people are going to stay here and thrive here they need arts and culture,” says Macomber, explaining that in late 2017, he left his job with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association to work with Kimball Art Center and quickly transitioned into the role of executive director. In the position, Macomber is charged with steering one of Park City’s oldest and most respected arts organizations. Kim-ball Art Center offers free exhibitions, arts education programs for all ages, and events like the Art Starts Here Gala, free art talks, and the Park City Kimball Arts Festival. The latter is one of Park City’s premier events and one of Kimball Art Center’s biggest fundraisers. “It’s ironic that in a ski town the two biggest events of the year are the Sundance Film Festival and the Arts Fest. Art is clearly part of Park City’s DNA,” says Macomber. Each August, the Arts Festival brings over 225 juried artists from around the country and around 50,000 attendees. Last year Macomber says artists sold $1 million in art, and this sum-mer he’s expecting those numbers to increase as the festival celebrates its 50th anniversary.
In honor of the occasion and the community that has helped Kimball Art Center flourish, entry to the festival will be free for all Summit County residents. Both Macomber and Kim-ball Art Center are big believers in making sure art is accessible to everyone, which is why they have classes for all ages and free exhibitions and events. “It’s part of what makes a vibrant community,” Macomber explains. “Any community without arts and culture, well, there’s kind of a void. Arts are the heart and soul of a community.” As Macomber knows from experience, skiing is great, but without the depth delivered by the arts, the city wouldn’t be the vibrant place it is today.