by Dalton Carver
The town of Ridgway added another historic and expansive project to its list on Tuesday, Aug. 23. After applying in January and beating out towns such as Durango and Mancos, Ridgway was officially granted the state’s Space to Create project by Colorado Creative Industries.
Residents, staff and elected officials from around Ouray County filled the community room at Ridgway Town Hall to hear the news, listening to short speeches and congratulations from state officials, including: Margaret Hunt, director of CCI; Tim Schultz, CCI council chair and Boettcher Foundation president; Irv Halter, Department of Local Affairs executive director; Fiona Arnold, Office of Economic Development and International Trade director; and, Kelley Lindquist, president of ArtSpace.
“We look forward to working together over the coming years to build on and sustain the dynamic creative and entrepreneurial spirit already thriving in Ridgway,” said Lindquist after making the official announcement of Ridgway’s selection.
In January, Jen Coates, town manager, and Diedra Silbert, community development coordinator, suggested exploring the Space to Create initiative to town council. The project would provide living opportunities combined with work and exhibit space for Ridgway artists, providing a partial answer to the county affordable housing problem.
Council unanimously agreed it could be a good thing for the town, resulting in an application for the project.
“We were so excited when (Ridgway) applied,” said Schultz during his speech. “I was always hoping it would be Ridgway.”
The town selection for the project was narrowed down to Ridgway and Mancos in April. Anticipating a victory, town council approved $35,000 from the general fund to put toward the feasibility study and arts market survey conducted by ArtSpace that would be part of Space to Create.
John Clark, Ridgway mayor, said...