Steamboat Creates invites community to share vision for arts and culture | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Creates invites community to share vision for arts and culture

Steamboat Creates has launched a new survey to gather community input on the creative sector. The group will also host a series of four forums this month at the Depot Art Center. (Courtesy photo)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Creates, the evolution of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, embarked on a strategic planning project earlier this year, and its core component involves input from creatives and community members.

"Our goal is to have a community-wide plan that helps facilitate the goals and addresses the challenges and opportunities for arts, culture and other creative endeavors in our community," said Lauren Yeates, Steamboat Creates board member.

To get input from the community, Steamboat Creates recently launched a new survey as well as a series of community forums at the Depot Art Center — one will be held Feb. 12, two on Feb. 16 and the last one on Feb. 21.

If you go

What: Steamboat Creates community forums
When: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12; 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16; 6 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 21
Where: Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St.

The forums will feature a short presentation followed by an opportunity for attendees to join smaller group discussions and hear from various board members and committees leading the efforts of Steamboat Creates. There will also be an opportunity for participants to share their ideas.

"One of the major goals of this process is to build an understanding among our community members of the importance and availability of arts and humanities in their daily lives," said Steamboat Creates Executive Director Kim Keith.

In particular, the organization seeks feedback on topics including: how the community could grow and/or improve the arts and culture sector; what it is that Steamboat creatives like about being a creative in Steamboat; and what are some of their main challenges as an individual or business.

"Steamboat Creates' goal in asking this is to better understand these challenges and then help identify solutions where we can," Yeates said. "Steamboat Creates may then serve as a connector, sharing information with others in the community."

"We want to better understand our creative sector needs so we can better connect, collaborate or create programs that will strengthen this vital sector of our rural community’s economy," Keith said.

The organization, which led Steamboat’s efforts to become a certified Colorado Creative District, was historically focused on serving artists in areas such as literary, visual arts, crafts, performing arts, film and heritage.

Now, as a result of Steamboat's Creative District designation and to align Routt County with state of Colorado guidelines, the term “creatives” is now being used to describe artists.

"We are adopting the broader definition from artists to creatives because that also includes professionals such as architects, graphic designers, craft beverage makers, culinary arts professionals," Yeates explained.

According to Colorado Creative Industries, the state's creative sector is distinguished by six categories: design; film/media; literary/publishing; performing arts; visual arts; and heritage. Creative professions can range from writers to musicians and magicians to historians.

"Some artists and other creatives may not realize they would fall into the definition of the creative sector and thus be considered key constituents for Steamboat," Yeates said. "We'd love for them to know they are an important part of the family for Steamboat Creates and the Routt County community."

The survey is available at steamboatcreates.org/survey/and will be open until the end of March.

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

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