Salida Creative District starts strategic planning

The Salida Creative District is moving forward with some very creative ideas!

At a public meeting Oct. 24, 2012 Marcie Erion with the city of Loveland facilitated the start of our strategic planning process with about 100 local attendees at the SteamPlant. Together we identified assets, barriers and successes for Salida’s creative district.

We took the information gleaned from that first public meeting further with a smaller discussion group represented by different interests in the creative district. The group developed a framework for the plan to guide its implementation.

This Salida Creative District plan includes a Vision and Mission Statement along with specific goals and actions that are intended to be both actionable and measurable. While the plan proposes to build on Salida’s reputation as a premier creative community, it also seeks to address critical business needs, including infrastructure. Most importantly, the plan seeks to enhance the existing local partnerships to create a long-term culture of success in Salida.

The vision for the Salida Creative District is that in five years, Salida will see a measurable impact in retention and attraction of creative enterprises and jobs, improved retail, dining and gallery sales and continued revitalization within the Creative District. The mission is that the state’s designation of “Creative District” will allow Salida to fully implement its goal of promoting, supporting and expanding the existing creative industries in order to drive economic growth and enhance Salida’s quality of life.

In addition to the creation of our strategic plan, we started an artist exchange with Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe, which was also designated as a creative district by the governor at the same time as Salida. Salida artists Merry Cox and Ted Fish were Salida’s first artists participating in the exchange  They were honored at an opening reception and participated in the First Friday tour in Denver. In the future, an exhibit by three Denver artists will be held at the SteamPlant. Discussions are also underway about presenting theater and musical performances from Salida in Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe and bringing their creative groups to Salida.

We will continue to develop action plans to build on the vision for Salida. It is an exciting time for Salida’s Creatives!

Michael Varnum

Salida SteamPlant Director

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