Creativity may reach a peak at 5th annual summit in Carbondale |

Creativity may reach a peak at 5th annual summit in Carbondale

Will Grandbois
A scene from last year's creative summit Fort Collins.


For more information on Colorado Creative Industries, including a full agenda of the summit, visit For more information on Carbondale Arts, including special events around the summit, visit

This week, hundreds of creative leaders from around the state will gather in Carbondale for Colorado Creative Industries’ fifth annual summit, and residents are going to notice.

“You’ll start seeing some things you don’t see every day,” said Amy Kimberly, director of the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities. “A lot of synergy from this area will be coming together.”

You might see some rather large beetles wandering the streets or encounter one of a pair of “art cars” from Trinidad.

“There’s going to be some really fun people in town,” said program manager Christy Costello. “The idea is to get everyone around the state that’s doing great, creative work together in the same place. It’s designed to highlight the transformative and creative things going on statewide.”

The summit is put on under the auspices of the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade.

The state’s definition of “creative industries” casts a wide net — including writers, architects and other creative professionals. Carbondale, which is a creative district candidate and will be up for official certification in May, has further expanded its own definition.

“Health and wellness is such a strong part of this community, and local food production is part of our cultural heritage,” Kimberly explained. “The state is very open and flexible. It’s really up to the community to determine.”

The summit workshops themselves are registration based, but there will be plenty of opportunities for the community to engage with the summit.

“We work with the community to create other events that are open to the public,” Costello said.

It starts at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday with the Dolores Way Maker Party, an opportunity for attendees and locals alike to discover the vibrant neighborhood west of the tracks through brewery tours, a silent auction, T-shirt swap and music by DJ Dave.

“Some people who live here don’t even know about some of the amazing businesses over there,” Kimberly said.

Thursday evening features an artwalk at 5 p.m. complete with shuttles to SAW. The action continues at the end of Main Street with tours at the Marble Distillery and outdoor firings at the Clay Center, followed by a street party with live music by Let Them Roar and a fire show.

“That’s going to be a huge celebration, and we really want the community to come out for that,” Kimberly said.

Throughout the summit, be sure to stop by the “Tiny Detour” on the corner of Fourth and Main, where a village of tiny portable buildings will host two days of free music, film and art in the form of performances, workshops and more.

You can also register separately for the Governor’s Creative Leadership Awards luncheon on Friday afternoon. This year, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Folklórico artistic director Francisco “Paco” Nevarez-Burgueño will be one of the recipients.

“That’s an opportunity for us to celebrate individuals that have used the arts to leverage some kind of change,” Costello said.

Meanwhile, attendees will be filling the motels and restaurants and generally getting to know the town.

“We like to bring it to small communities, because the involvement and the authenticity is really strong, and it has a bigger social and economic impact,” Costello said.

“I think it’s going to be fun,” Kimberly added. “This is our chance to have Carbondale shine — show everybody what we’re about. It strengthens that network with the kind of people who might enjoy our community.”

With First Friday and Dandelion Day following up the summit, some of them may even stick around.

“We’ll just keep it cranking through the weekend,” she added.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.