CRAFT Case Study: A.R. Mitchell Museum, Las Animas County

The A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art was awarded two CRAFT Mentor programs by the Colorado Tourism Office in summer 2019. The Museum participated in two CRAFT Mentor projects: their first project focused on developing an action plan to support their strategic initiatives and a fundraising toolkit to support their upcoming capital campaign, and their second project worked to create an exhibit strategy to re-engage members and bring in new visitors.

Located in Las Animas County, The A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art’s mission is to preserve and display the collection of Arthur Roy Mitchell and communicate his legacy relating to art, art education, and his passion for the preservation of regional western history and the city of Trinidad.

CRAFT Mentor Program Results

The Colorado Tourism Office matched The A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art with Mimi Mather and Jackie Noble, CRAFT Mentors with experience in communications design and interpretive planning, to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Received two $1,000 CRAFT Mentor Implementation Fund grants to create a window decal in their front window announcing their new "Spur it
    Spur it Forward poster
    Forward" capital campaign, to create the capital campaign brochure, to create a decal for the new exhibit, and to implement new facility upgrades
  • Created a detailed fundraising plan—"Spur it Forward"—to support the Museum's new capital campaign. The fundraising plan included an action and implementation plan, The A.R. Mitchell Capital Campaign story, messaging around the museum and the campaign needs, campaign taglines, logo and graphics to support the campaign, and social media strategies for communicating the purpose of the capital campaign.
  • Increased museum event bookings, from zero to 10 events in four months
  • Awarded a tourism grant from the city for $625 per month for advertising efforts outside of the community
  • Doubled gift shop income since opening 10 months ago
  • Expanded cash box donations from $100 per month to $400-500 per month
  • Established a new partnership with an art lab to foster art education in the community

“The A.R. Mitchell Museum has been the fortunate recipient of two CRAFT Mentor projects with mentors Mimi Mather and Jackie Noble. Mimi helped us simplify and create a more methodical approach to our strategic plan. Her efforts aligned the board and prepared us to then take the bold steps to visually transform the museum in the ways that Jackie suggested. The combination of the Mimi and Jackie's expertise has galvanized the board and community's energy around the museum.” – Christine Louden, Project Lead

Get inspired to visit The A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art by exploring
Spanish Peaks Country: Walsenburg, La Veta, Trinidad, & More
Highway of Legends: Trinidad & Pueblo
Road Trip Through Rural Colorado


About CRAFT Mentor

CRAFT Mentor provides up to 50 hours of mentoring for tourism-related entities wishing to advance a specific tourism-related goal or strategy. Participants receive $1,000 of implementation funding upon completion.


The A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art
(719) 846-4224