In May, Carbondale becomes the center of creativity
To register for the summit, visit coloradocreativeindustries.org/summit. Registration is $135 until April 1.
The Colorado Creative Industries is coming to Carbondale for its fifth annual summit — an event further solidifying the town’s place among Colorado’s creative districts and bringing 300 participants to town.
The summit, which this year is themed “Culture of Possibilities,” will include more than 30 panelists and speakers from Colorado and beyond.
The point of the summit is to get artists and creative professionals in the same room with experts for guidance on economic development specifically geared toward creative businesses, said Christy Costello, Colorado Creative Industries program manager.
She expects 300-some participants, both locals and from across the state. So far about 75 people have registered, she said.
The summit’s public events start at 4:30 p.m. May 4 with an open house in the Carbondale Business Park on Delores Way, hosted by creative business owners, said Costello.
Then the conference starts in earnest on Thursday, May 5. The bulk of the conference will take place at The Orchard at 100 Snowmass Drive.
Christopher Breedlove, executive director of Burners without Boards, the nonprofit arm of Burning Man, will cover “creating community leaders for creative and positive change” as the primary keynote speaker, said Costello.
Thursday night will feature an open house on Main Street, shutting down traffic in Carbondale’s creative district.
On Friday the main event will be the Governor’s Creative Leadership Awards luncheon, and among the awardees will be Carbondale local Francisco Nevarez-Burgueño, director of the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.
Costello hopes Gov. John Hickenlooper will be there to present the awards.
Between the big events will be breakout sessions geared toward artists, creative business owners and the creative districts’ economic development. The summit will host sessions on marketing and basic business skills led by other creative business owners.
An entertainment attorney from Colorado Attorneys for the Arts will present on how to set up a business.
And artists and creative business owners can get one-on-one sessions with business counselors from Colorado Small Business Development Center.
Rifle-based The Whole Works will also be featured on a panel about “Colorado-built” products.
Colorado Creative Industries has worked closely with Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities in preparation of the event. Other local organizations, including Land+Shelter, Studio for Arts and Works, Basalt Public Art Commission and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet are involved in the organizing, Costello said.
Prior summits were hosted by Breckenridge, Pueblo, Salida and Fort Collins, and Colorado Creative Industries has 20 communities designated as creative districts.
Carbondale was accepted into a candidacy program about two years ago to become the state’s next certified creative district.
The town could be one of the last communities to go through the candidacy program, which Christy Costello, Colorado Creative Industries program manager, called an “incubator-style” process that is being ended.
Costello expects that Carbondale will soon apply for certification as a creative district.
“Colorado has incredible talent working across the creative sector,” said Margaret Hunt, director of CCI. “We look forward to bringing together creatives from throughout the state for an exchange of ideas and best practices as we work toward the common goal of a robust creative sector in Colorado.”
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