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Pagosa Arts & Culture Project — shaping a creative community

By Leanne Goebel
Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Arts & Culture Project is a free service being created to highlight all aspects of the substantial and growing creative community in Pagosa Springs and the surrounding area. The Pagosa Arts & Culture Project is building a web-based directory of all the creative people and businesses in the community. By creating this website, it will make these cultural assets more easy to find in online search engines and help share the wealth of innovative and talented individuals that call our small community home.

This sort of database is called “cultural mapping” and is being done by communities around the country in order to realize and recognize the value of their creative assets.

The Pagosa Arts & Culture Project will lay the groundwork for continued collaboration and cooperation and promotional efforts of the combined community. The goal of the project is to establish a solid foundation of cultural and creative individuals and businesses, to create a viable plan for promoting these assets and to hire an administrator to help coordinate the effort.

Are you creative? A painter, a sculptor, a writer? Do you write music? Are you a member of a band? Do you make art that’s a little strange? Is your handcrafted item for sale around the world? Do you whip up lotions and potions? Are you a performer of any kind? Do you design landscapes, buildings, logos or fashion?

If so, the Pagosa Arts & Culture Project is designed to help you.

To register, go to http://pagosaacp.org/Register.html.

Enter all the requested information and select all of the categories in which you wish to be included. You can hold down the Control key to select multiple categories. If we have missed a category, there is a box where you can add it. Then provide links to your website, etsy page, ebay, facebook, whatever you wish. Click agree to terms and conditions and submit.

It’s that simple.

And, it’s free.

The website is the first step to developing a database of local cultural assets. The PACP wants to include nonprofit organizations, museums, arts-related businesses and cultural entities as well as individuals.

Help with the effort by uploading your information. It may seem like nothing is happening, but we are diligently working to raise the funds necessary to build this website. The end result of creating this website is that we can begin to promote Pagosa Springs as a creative center.

Video

Thanks to the hard work and efforts of the The Pagosa Arts & Culture board and particularly Laura Moore from the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts,  videographer Doug Chapin, and Bob Hemenger, who composed the original music, a video promoting creative industries in Pagosa Springs is now available on the PACP website and can be shared from the ShyRabbit01 YouTube site.

Creative industries

In Colorado, Creative Industries are the fifth largest economic sector.

The state defines creative industries as: Culinary (food, beer, wine, spirits); Design (architecture, fashion, advertising, graphics, toys); Film and  Media (film, new media, video games); Heritage (history, culture, traditions); Performance (music, theater, dance, spoken word); Publishing (literature, poetry, nonfiction) and Visual (painting, sculpture, photography).

Many working in these industries are part of a shadow economy, working from their homes, part-time, barely more than a hobby, off the radar of local government and economic indicators.

According to Americans for the Arts, nationally, there are 756,007 businesses in the U.S. involved in the creation or distribution of the arts. They employ 2.99 million people, representing 4.14 percent of all businesses and 2.17 percent of all employees, respectively. The source for these data is Dun & Bradstreet, the most comprehensive and trusted source for business information in the U.S.

As of January 2011, Archuleta County is home to 50 arts-related businesses that employ 79 people. These arts-centric businesses play an important role in building and sustaining economic vibrancy. They employ a creative workforce, spend money locally, generate government revenue, and are a cornerstone of tourism and economic development. The creative industries account for 3.68 percent of the 1,360 total businesses located in Archuleta County, and 1.67 percent of the 4,744 total people they employ.

The PACP aims at including all of these industries and people in the project, and enriching the creative community in Pagosa Country. Be part of the process — sign up now.

For more information about the PACP, contact Leanne Goebel at artsjournalist@mac.com or call her at 903-5272.

This story was posted on November 19, 2012.