Looking for something of immeasurable quality and creativity? Our local artists, musicians, and creative industries make La Plata County unique while also boosting our economy. According a recent study released by the City of Durango, non-profit and public arts and cultural organizations were directly responsible for $18.1 million in economic activity in Durango in 2015. The City of Durango is also increasingly interested in creating a local creative arts district which will continue to highlight the benefits of local art, bring more state funding to the region, and increase tourism.

In order to better connect our business members with the creative community, Local First is launching the Local First Creative Arts Initiative. The initiative will support business growth and the local economy, provide living wages to local artists, increase beautification efforts, and help to grow a thriving arts district and artisan community in La Plata County. We’ll strive to maintain resiliency in the face of future economic fluctuations by simultaneously nurturing local, independent business opportunities and the artisan economy.

The Local First Creative Arts Initiative will increase the multiplier effect by working with independent, local businesses to keep money in our community. To this end, Local First is partnering with the business and arts community to better identify projects surrounding special events, performances and art installations, such as sculptures and murals. As well, fine arts, graphic arts, music and other creative art forms will serve to enhance education and outreach efforts to the broader community.

The Goal of the Local First Creative Arts Initiative is to:

  1. Engage the creative arts sector with the independent, local business community to support Durango’s local economy.
  2. Educate business owners and community members on the benefits of local art while enhancing a unique and local sense of place.
  3. Increase opportunities to grow Durango’s artisan community in a way that builds local businesses while supporting the arts sector and their business operations at the same time.