Salida to host Creative Communities event

The Salida SteamPlant Theater and Event Center is hosting the third annual Colorado Creative Industries Summit May 1 and 2.

“It was truly an honor for Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) to ask Salida to submit a proposal to host this event and then to be selected,” said Michael Varnum, SteamPlant director.

The site for the 2014 CCI Summit was first announced last August by Governor John Hickenlooper at a luncheon at the SteamPlant presented by The Denver Forum, the city of Salida and Friends of the SteamPlant. Now plans are underway for the event to happen.

The theme of this year’s Summit is “Creative Convergence” which focuses around the concept of collective impact. It will explore ways to coordinate effort and work toward the common result of building a strong and vibrant creative community in Colorado.

The first Summit was held in Breckenridge in 2012 and the second in Pueblo in 2013.

The event targets creative entrepreneurs, emerging creatives, municipal and non-profit cultural workers and creative district leaders. Topics address practical approaches to creative businesses and how-to’s for working collectively with creative, municipalities and businesses.

“Because the Salida Creative District is home to many artists, there are opportunities for creatives to showcase their talent during the Summit,” said Beatrice Price, marketing and events coordinator for the SteamPlant. “These opportunities include design and construction of centerpieces to be placed on tables during meals, welcome bag design and construction, welcome bag art items inclusion, and catering.

So far one local business is contributing bottles of salsa to the welcome bags, another is contributing honey and another hand cream. Other local contributions to make these welcome bags exceptional are welcome through a Request for Proposal process.

All of the Requests for Proposals are available on Salida’s Creative District website. Deadline for submissions vary but the deadline for some items is Friday, Feb. 7 so anyone interested should check the website for more information.

Approximately 300 people from throughout the state are expected for the event. Registration for the summit is limited to 250 but additional attendees will include people from state art organizations.

“The SteamPlant ballroom will be the area for gathering, vendors and exhibitors,” Price said. “Our ballroom has standing room for 335 but a sit-down banquet will accommodate only 200 so we’ll be adding a tent for the rest. Another positive aspect about the Summit is that it will be taking place during what we call the ‘shoulder season,’ when there isn’t much else going on, so this will give local businesses an opportunity to showcase Salida. We are also encouraging Summit attendees to say through the weekend, if possible.”

Downtown businesses and galleries will be encouraged to remain open the evening of Thursday, May 1 when an art walk will be scheduled following the last session. The exact schedule of sessions is not known at this time, but some will take place in local businesses, among them P.J. Bergin’s Gallery, The Book Haven, and P.T. Woods Distillery.

“This is a huge difference from the past when the CCI Summit was held in hotels and conference centers,” Varnum said. “We’ll be sending attendees out into the community.”

Vendors at the summit are businesses geared toward helping creative people. The Small Business Association has always been a vendor and sponsor and attendees can meet with them and find out what services are available.

Several locals have been named to the state committee, which includes about 25 members. Locals are Lisa marvel, P.J. Bergin, Beatrice Price, Michael Varnum, Emily Katsimpalis and Theresa Casey. “We anticipate that between now and the Summit others will be involved with the local committee,” Varnum said.

Colorado Creative Industries initiated a student Summit logo contest in which students from across the state had the opportunity to submit designs for this year’s logo. Adam Sinda of Gunnison, a graphic design student at Western State University and an intern at RoShamBo Marketing + Creation in Gunnison was the winner. Over 22 submissions from nine Colorado colleges and universities were received. The logo features the SteamPlant Event Center.

“The annual Colorado Creative Industries Summit is a chance for Creative professionals to network with fellow creatives from around the state,” Price said. “Attendees will learn from Colorado’s most inspiring speakers and presenters through workshops like Creative Business 101, Financing Your Art, Legal Issues, Social Media and Website Enhancement.”

“When I speak to people around the state, they say how much they love Salida,” Varnum said. “Through the local committees, we want to get people working together so delegates to the Summit can experience Salida.”

Those interested in attending the Summit should check the website for more information.

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