In a small city in southern Colorado which has seen a population exit due to a decline in area mining and agricultural employment, state officials are interested in the potential of a new artist housing project.
Trinidad has seen its population decline from more than 9,000 a decade ago, to around 8,100 today.
The drop from more than 13,200 in the 1940s, during the years when mining and agriculture was at its peak, is even greater.
But members of the Colorado Economic Development Commission have high hopes that Trinidad may be on the verge of both a population and economic revival, only this time through a thriving arts community.
In a unanimous vote, commission members have approved spending up to $400,000 to fund a program that will see the building out of housing space for area artists.
The housing project will specifically target artists who make anywhere between 40 and 60 percent of median area income.
Working with a larger effort called Space to Create, an initiative launched in 2014 by Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade, the Trinidad project will see the construction of 28 workforce housing apartment spaces.
The effort will additionally include thirteen combined live and work artists’ spaces, as well as 10,000 square feet of commercial and business space.
The new housing units will be operated by the Minneapolis-based Artspace, a nonprofit that develops artist housing and studio space across the country.
State officials say that, depending upon the success of the Trinidad project, additional artist housing developments may be built in other parts of Colorado.
By Garry Boulard
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