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Colorado Creative Industries and DOLA announce Space to Create Paonia

Space to Create program to help spur economic development in rural Colorado

DENVER – Thursday, September 21, 2017 – The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), Colorado Creative Industries Division (CCI) and the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) along with Boettcher Foundation, Artspace and the town of Paonia gathered today at the annual Mountain Harvest Festival to announce Paonia as the community selected for Space to Create in Northwest Colorado. The program will develop affordable workforce housing for the creative sector, as well as position Colorado as the nation’s leader in artist-led community transformation in rural creative place-making.

“Housing and economic development of creative industries are vital needs in rural Colorado.  The Space to Create initiative advances both of these issues by harnessing the power of the public, private and philanthropic sectors, as well as the creative community, to elevate rural economies,” said Governor John Hickenlooper.

Space to Create Paonia will advance a feasibility analysis of creative sector workforce space in the town of Paonia. The initiative will begin with a preliminary feasibility study and community engagement work, followed by an arts market survey.

Space to Create Paonia, is one of a number of projects that will be launched in eight regions in Colorado’s rural, small town and mountain communities over the next three years. Each project will be driven by community needs for workforce housing and commercial space for artists and creative entrepreneurs. The first demonstration project was launched July 2015 in Trinidad, followed by the town of Ridgway in the Southwest region. Through the study process, both communities learned that projects are feasible and they are currently in the predevelopment phase. Regional selections are prioritized based on local needs including economic diversification, community readiness, public will, commitment of local resources and housing and space demands.

“Having felt the devastating effects of two mine closings and a recession that has lasted a decade, we are thrilled to have been selected for a Space to Create project,” said Paonia Mayor Charles Stewart. “The creative industries are becoming a major part of our economy, and the Space to Create project is a substantial step forward in developing this resource and moving us toward a sustainable financial future. We appreciate everyone who has made this possible, including The Colorado Office of Economic Development, Colorado Creative Industries, The Department of Local Affairs, The Boettcher Foundation and Artspace.”

“The Space to Create Paonia initiative will unite local and regional partners in an effort to create an important catalyst for economic development in Colorado’s rural communities,” said Irv Halter, DOLA Executive Director.

Artspace, America’s leader in artist-led community transformation, will act as lead consultant with CCI.

“Artspace is honored and excited to participate in the Space to Create process and to assist the town of Paonia and its creative sector in advancing its vision for affordable and sustainable creative space,” said Shannon Joern, Artspace Vice President of National Advancement.

In addition to Paonia, the towns of Carbondale and Crested Butte submitted applications for the Northwest Space to Create. These communities showed remarkable readiness, public will, and commitment of local resources and will proceed to explore feasibility directly with Artspace. Colorado Creative Industries and DOLA will support these projects through technical support and connections to resources.

Today’s announcement was held at the Blue Sage Arts Center in Paonia, Colorado.

For more information, please visit coloradocreativeindustries.org.

About Colorado Creative Industries

Colorado Creative Industries is a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Established to capitalize on the immense potential for our creative sector to enhance economic growth in Colorado, the mission of Colorado Creative Industries is to promote, support and expand the creative industries to drive Colorado’s economy, grow jobs and enhance our quality of life. www.coloradocreativeindustries.org

About DOLA

The Department of Local Affairs is responsible for strengthening Colorado’s local communities. DOLA works in partnership with local governments and organizations statewide to provide funding for projects, affordable housing, and disaster recovery relief as well as expertise to communities through robust technical assistance programs to help with community planning, property taxation, and tax appeals. http://www.colorado.gov/dola

About Artspace

Artspace is the nation’s leader in artist-led community transformation, with more than 47 projects in operation across the country and another dozen in development, representing a unique, $600 million investment in America’s arts infrastructure. With headquarters in Minneapolis and offices in Denver, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Seattle and Washington D.C., Artspace is America’s leading developer of arts facilities and has served as a consultant to hundreds of communities and arts organizations nationwide. To date Artspace has completed nearly 2,000 affordable live/work units for artists and their families as well as more than a million square feet of non-residential space for artists and arts organizations. www.artspace.org

SPACE TO CREATE FACT SHEET

WHAT IS SPACE TO CREATE COLORADO?

Space to Create Colorado is a collaborative effort of multiple organizations to provide affordable workforce housing and working spaces for creative sector entrepreneurs and artists in rural, small town and mountain communities in Colorado. On July 28, 2015, Governor John Hickenlooper announced the first state-driven initiative in the U.S. for affordable housing for artists. Space to Create Colorado will advance mixed-use projects that blend affordable live/work space for artists and their families with non- residential space for creative enterprises and organizations that serve a critical community need.

Nine new projects will be initiated in eight regions of the state by 2019. The first Demonstration Project is in Trinidad. Ridgway was selected as the next community in the Southwestern Colorado region. Future sites will be determined through a competitive process.

Space to Create Colorado is directed by a steering committee comprised of invested partners. Artspace provides market, feasibility and predevelopment consulting services on behalf of Space to Create Colorado. Each of the projects will be customized to meet community needs for workforce housing and commercial space for creative sector entrepreneurs, artists and arts-friendly organizations.

 

WHO ARE THE PARTNERS AND COLLABORATORS?

 

Led by Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade in partnership with Artspace, the Boettcher Foundation, Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), and History Colorado, this collaborative effort will assist Colorado communities in accessing state, federal, and local government resources, and include private sector and philanthropic support. (www.coloradocreativeindustries.org/communities/space-create)

 

WHO IS ARTSPACE?

 

Artspace is the nation’s leader in artist-led community transformation, with more than 35 projects in operation across the country and another dozen in development, representing a unique $600 million investment in America’s arts infrastructure. With headquarters in Minneapolis and offices in Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Seattle and Washington D.C., Artspace is America’s leading developer of arts facilities and has served as a consultant to hundreds of communities and arts organizations nationwide. To date Artspace has completed nearly 2,000 affordable live/work units for artists and their families as well as more than a million square feet of non-residential space for artists and arts organizations. (www.artspace.org)

 


 

WHAT ARE THE GOALS?  

 

This initiative will stimulate community and economic development in rural, small town and mountain communities by providing long-term affordable and financially sustainable workforce housing and working spaces for creative sector employment. Nine projects initiated across Colorado by 2019 will culminate in roughly $45 million of investment statewide by multiple partners and agencies in direct capital investment.

 

WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF “ARTIST AND CREATIVE SECTOR WORKERS”?   

 

Per CCI, the creative sector in Colorado includes things that are created in the human mind, made by hand or custom designed, and where art takes place, including such occupations as:

Actors, architects, audio and video technicians, art directors, book binding, painters, musicians, singers, song writers, music directors and composers, musical instrument designers and manufacturers, authors and writers, illustrators, publishers photographers, dancers, choreographers, sculptors, advertising and promotions, editors, commercial and industrial designers, sound engineers, interior designers, apparel and fashion designers and manufacturing, set and exhibit designers, reporters and correspondents, museum curators, technicians and conservators, film, television and video script writers and producers, camera operators, broadcast technicians, culinary arts, craftsmen, craft distillers and brewers, sign makers, public relations specialists, multi-media artists and animators, theaters, performance venues, museums, libraries, studios and galleries.

 

HOW WAS PAONIA SELECTED? 

 

After discussion with and approval by the Town Council, the Town and the North Fork Valley Creative Coalition submitted an initial application to CCI in January 2017. Paonia was then selected to complete and submit the full Space to Create application in April 2017. On September 21, 2017, Space to Create Colorado announced that Paonia was selected as the Space to Create community for Northwest Colorado. Partners in Space to Create Paonia are: North Fork Valley Creative Coalition, Region 10, Delta County Housing Authority, Delta County Economic Development, Paonia Chamber of Commerce, Department of Local Affairs.

 

WHAT WERE THE CRITERIA FOR SELECTING A COMMUNITY?

 

Criteria for selection include such things as concentration of creative sector workforce, availability of historic buildings for adaptive re-use, available developable property, commitment of local resources by a local governing body, and a demonstrated ability to execute community-based initiatives such as the Main Street and Creative District programs.

 

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT THE FIRST STEPS TO BE?

 

Artspace staff will meet with members of the community and the region in focus groups, representing Creatives, creative enterprises, arts and culture organizations, civic and nonprofit leaders, and the finance sector. A preliminary feasibility study report will be published. In early 2018, an Arts Market Survey will go live.  All Creatives and creative enterprises in our region will be invited to respond to this survey. (Send your email addresses to S2C@TownofPaonia.com to participate!) The information gathered will be critical to the next phases of the project.

 

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