Crawford Mayor Susie Steckel told the board of trustees at their council meeting on July 3 that the North Fork Valley Creative District was certified by the State of Colorado in June. She is hoping that local artists and artisans will be active in the district and help guide it by sharing what their needs are and how the district can help them.
Susie Kaldis, executive director of the North Fork Valley Creative Coalition, outlined on July 8 how the new North Fork Valley Creative District will be moving forward in the next couple of months.
"The Creative Coalition will be having a joint board and advisory council meeting in mid-August to set the vision and the goals for the newly certified North Fork Valley Creative District. CCI (Colorado Creative Industries) will be finalizing the grant contract and distributing the $15,000 to Creative Coalition at the end of July.
"After the advisory council meets in mid-August, the Creative Coalition will be putting together a poll to ask the creative practitioners in the valley what their immediate needs are directly related to the Creative District and to economic development in the North Fork Valley," Kaldis said.
The second edition of the Creative Directory will be produced this fall.
"We will be taking submissions starting in late August. This will be marketing material for the valley that will help tourists as well as locals determine the services and activities they would like to do here in the valley either when visiting or as residents need services," Kaldis said.
"We're thrilled that the town governments of Crawford, Hotchkiss and Paonia are supportive of the Creative District program and look forward to getting their direct feedback on how to move forward as a Creative District."
Rick Steckel of K Dahl Glass Studios of Crawford, the mayor's son and a former town trustee, compares the North Fork Valley Creative District with the tourism district that was formed years ago and which has helped the local communities.
"If this is built along similar lines, I suspect that [the Creative District] will help as much as it can." He said the creative people in the area need marketing to compete on the local, state and national level and even globally. He also expressed caution that the Creative District must not just become a "feel good" project, but has to actually improve the local economy to be of any real benefit.