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PACP plans for next year’s MAKERS Expo & Tour

By Leanne Goebel
Special to The PREVIEW

The first Pagosa MAKERS Expo & Tour was a success and plans are already underway for next year.

The event, which occurred Oct. 12-13, is a hybrid of a studio tour and a MAKERS’ fair. It was a fun and interactive maze of exhibits, workshops, studios, displays and demonstrations by those in Archuleta County who make stuff, create objects, design goods, invent gadgets and concoct things.

The Pagosa MAKERS Expo & Tour represented more than 90 MAKERS in its inaugural year. There were 31 booths at expo venues — SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts and The Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts — and 22 studios, workshops and commercial businesses featuring local MAKERS were part of the tour.

The event producers, the Pagosa Arts & Culture Project board of directors, collected surveys and counted visitors as they came through the doors at expo venues. More than 850 people participated this year. Visitors from 17 states and two countries enjoyed the expo and tour; nearly 40 percent of participants were from out of town. Some studios and businesses saw more than 100 visitors come through their doors that weekend.

Forged, stitched, formed, shaped, brewed, baked, strung, hammered, linked or woven, the Pagosa MAKERS Expo & Tour is already looking for more MAKERS to participate in the second Pagosa MAKERS Expo & Tour in 2014. In fact, we’d like to double the number of MAKERS represented.

If you are a local MAKER, log on to the Pagosa Arts & Culture Project website at pagosaacp.org and register. You will be added to the e-mail list and invited to submit an application for 2014.

For more information about the next event, contact Leanne Goebel at 903-5272.

Pagosa Arts & Culture Project

Pagosa is home to several of the most active arts-oriented nonprofit organizations in the region: the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts and FolkWest. Operating out of the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, the Thingamajig Theater Co. has set the bar for professional theater in the region at a new, high level and continues to shine with remarkable productions — dramas, comedies, musicals — that draw patrons from a wide area. SHY RABBIT has established an international reputation, mounting shows and juried exhibitions including work from local talents and artists located around the world. FolkWest has long been known for producing some of the finest musical festivals in the West — the annual Pagosa Folk and Bluegrass Festival at the start of summer and the Four Corners Folk Festival on the Labor Day weekend. Both festivals take place at a spectacular venue atop Reservoir Hill in downtown Pagosa Springs, bringing millions in economic impact to the area.

These three organizations came together 18 months ago, joining forces with a business consultant, an event planner, an artist/writer and a writer/arts advocate to form the Pagosa Arts & Culture Project. A year ago, this group of professional, creative entrepreneurs began work to launch the Pagosa MAKERS Expo & Tour.

The Pagosa Arts & Culture Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization run by a working board that includes: Laura Moore of the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, writer Leanne Goebel, Michael and Denise Coffee of SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts, artist and writer Karl Isberg, and event planner Paula Jo Miller. Crista Munro of FolkWest serves as an ex officio director.

The Pagosa Arts and Culture Project was established to assist in building the so-called MAKERs community and to stimulate the process of establishing Pagosa Country as an arts and culture destination. The PACP has two primary goals — one short-term, the other conceived with an eye on the future.

The short-term goal of the PACP is one that is well on its way to fruition: the creation and constant update of a web directory that includes the many creative MAKERS, both individuals and organizations, in Pagosa. This directory serves as a resource for anyone wanting to learn about the creative community or to contact any of its members. Part of the short-term objective of the PACP is to create an event that showcases the individuals and organizations that do creative work here — artists, actors and musicians, artisans, business persons and industries. The PACP recognizes that the creative soul of a community is reflected by a full spectrum of activity, each element important in its way. As a result, the PACP organized and hosted the first-ever Pagosa MAKERS Expo & Tour.

The long-term goal has a greater reach: to propel Pagosa to the forefront as a community defined by the creative people and enterprises that call it home, and to make Pagosa a desirable destination for those who seek out the arts and the products of creative business ventures. The ultimate aim is to put Pagosa on the map along with the other cultural destinations in the Southwest — Santa Fe, Taos, Sedona.

Creative Pagosa is evolving, developing a meaningful identity, and the Pagosa Arts and Culture Project will continue to be a driving force in that evolution — here for any and all MAKERS, for all who create and for those who value what is created.

This story was posted on October 24, 2013.