In 1994, a group of teachers rented a building in downtown Paonia and founded the Blue Sage Dance and Movement Center. They offered organized dance, yoga, tai chi, and dance classes to the community. This space became the venue for the annual Paonia Holiday Arts Festival. Music also became a part of the Center with the introduction of the “Sage Stage.”
In 1996, the Blue Sage moved across the street into the historic Curtis Hardware Building and established 501(c)3 status. Staff consisted of a part-time manager.
In 1998, the name of the organization was changed to the Blue Sage Center for the Arts and the opportunity to purchase the Curtis Hardware Building arose. The board members of the Blue Sage organized a capital campaign that included donations from local individuals, businesses, Blue Sage members, and private foundations to raise the necessary $225,000. The purchase was completed in the fall of 1999.