Our Mission: BACC strives to serve as Bigfork's heART of creativity, education and inspiration for all.
Bigfork has always been an arts town. From its earliest days, Bigfork residents have been artists, artisans, craftsmen, art collectors and art enthusiasts. In 1977, a group of visionary citizens saw the need to build a community center focusing on the arts and ensuring a cultural legacy for Bigfork and the surrounding area. This forward-thinking group included Les and Ginny Averill, Sam Stephens, and Ruth & Joe Sliter, who purchased a gas station and converted it into Bigfork's first art center!
BACC is still housed in the same spot and over the years we have undergone a number of transformations. One significant addition was the musical clock tower which graces the front of our building. The clock tower has become a local landmark and gathering point. Music emanates from the tower every hour playing melodies ranging from Amazing Grace to Moon River to I Got You Babe. The clock tower was funded through private donations - supported by a campaign led by Community Foundation for a Better Bigfork, "CFBB" - a local, nonprofit organization responsible for the majority of our village's infrastructure and improvements.
The name and focus of our arts center has changed but the desire to provide the best in art exhibitions and cultural offerings has not wavered. We continue to strive to:
- maintain a solid financial base to not only sustain BACC, but also to serve as a positive force in our community
- continually expand and improve our Board of Directors, our volunteer base, our membership base and our artist base
- expand the focus of our programming to reflect art and culture beyond the visual arts, including more music, film, craft, design, architecture, literature, and humanities
- broaden the focus of exhibitions in order to increase the diversity of the artists and artisans exhibited in our Gallery and featured in our gift shop, Art, etc.
- build collaborative relationships with art, education, and cultural institutions
- provide educational programs to enliven, engage, and inspire our community and visitors
- ensure Bigfork remains a vital destination for arts and culture
Laura Hodge, Executive Director
Laura has always been rooted in community by being a voice for collaboration and making a positive
difference for those around her. Her diverse background includes place-based tourism work, community
development, and passing legislation to protect the natural landscape. Art is her passion, however -
having always been an artist at heart, and always creating, still.
In her mountain home in Tennessee, Laura served as a Director of Tourism and focused on community
leadership on various boards and as chairman of the Coker Creek Heritage Group before turning her
attention to growing a successful art and fine craft gallery (Coker Creek Gallery) as an accomplished
nature and adventure photographer. In 2014 she took on a collaborative effort to protect the mountains
around her Coker Creek home through a piece of legislation called The Tennessee Wilderness Act.
There, Laura led a diverse coalition of stakeholders through five years of non-stop lobbying to see the
bill pass in December of 2018 and 20,000 acres of the Cherokee National Forest become designated as
With a passion for big skies, big mountains, and public lands, Montana has always held a special place
for Laura and her husband, Bill. They recently relocated to the Flathead Valley from Asheville, North
Carolina for his work with the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation and are thrilled to call the Swan
Front and Bigfork home. They love to explore on foot and in kayaks, often with their dogs in tow and
always with way too much camera gear.
Laura is excited to get engaged in the BACC and Bigfork community and is looking forward to meeting
Thank You Cheryl Hanes, retiring Executive Director, for your dedication and service to BACC.