Downtown Institute event in Steamboat aims to spark creative place-making |

Downtown Institute event in Steamboat aims to spark creative place-making

The Yampa River Queen playground in West Lincoln Park first opened in 1987.
Scott Franz

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Downtown Colorado, Inc., a statewide nonprofit organization that provides a strategic methodology for revitalizing the local economy in selected Colorado communities, will be hosting a Downtown Institute event at the Depot Art Center in Steamboat Springs next month.

The event, which is scheduled for 2 to 5 p.m. Sept. 14, is a workshop that focuses on creative processes to shape downtown place-making policies.

“Creative place-making is about being intentional about the facilities or artwork within community parks or downtown streets, by looking at the overall community and looking at the big picture of what we want Steamboat to be,” said Dagny McKinley, Steamboat Springs Arts Council development coordinator.

One of the purposes of the workshop will be to try to encourage the community to take a greater role in the design and implementation of improvements to West Lincoln Park, where the Yampa River Queen structure once sat. The park  serves as a western gateway to Steamboat’s main street, historic and creative districts.

“We hope to facilitate a discussion with the community to look at what an engagement policy would look like as well as a policy the city of Steamboat Springs can use to engage with the creative sector and creative minds around planning for public spaces,” DCI Executive Director Katherine Correll said.

Correll will facilitate the event along with DCI consultants Gina Miller, from Art Management and Planning Associates, and Brian Corrigan, from OhHeckYeah!.

“There’s an opportunity now to showcase something special about Steamboat in that area of town,” Correll said. “We are inviting the community to the discussion to create an outline including a timeline and action plan for what people would like it (West Lincoln Park) to be. DCI and the workshop will provide a framework for how to move forward within a certain timeline.”

With a team of consultants and staff, DCI coordinates educational events, workshops and summits and then puts together a report or case study to assist communities in moving forward with goals.

“They are coming in to help with outreach in the community about the spirit of Steamboat and how people want to use West Lincoln Park and what they want to see there,” McKinley said.

The event is open to the community.

Discussions during the workshop will center around the following focus areas:

  • What is the spirit of West Lincoln Park?
  • How can Steamboat leverage the power of its creative sector to engage non-planners and non-designers in the planning of public spaces to maximize community buy-in and ownership for all people?

Those who would like to attend the Downtown Institute can RSVP online. For those who cannot attend but still want to voice their ideas, contact

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.

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