CRAFT Case Study: Rio Blanco County Historical Society, Meeker

Rio Blanco County Historical Society manages the White River Museum housed in the original Army barracks from the 1800's in historic downtown Meeker.

Mentor: Constance DeVereaux
Constance DeVereaux has 18 years of experience in the area of cultural management in the capacities of consultant, practitioner, and professor. Her areas of specialty are project management, marketing, cultural tourism, and culturally sustainable entrepreneurism. She has worked with organizations in the United States and internationally developing strategies for cultural development. From 2006 to 2012 she served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in the areas of cultural management and policy. She led projects in marketing and strategic planning at the architectural heritage site, Arcosanti, in Arizona, and in developing culturally sustainable tourism strategies for the Hopi of Arizona. She has authored internationally published articles on cultural tourism and culturally sustainable entrepreneurship. She is currently Associate Professor of graduate studies in Colorado State University’s LEAP Institute for the Arts where she teaches courses in leadership, events management, and policy.

“Constance was very personable and interested in our community and region. This helped establish a good relationship as we rolled up our sleeves and worked together on a comprehensive strategic plan for the next two years. She's a very good communicator and we enjoyed learning from her.” Ellene Meece, RBCHS President

CRAFT Project Overview, Deliverables and Results:

Rio Blanco County Historical Society’s CRAFT Project focused on creating a strategic plan to develop a heritage culture center.

  • The mentor will provide facilitation and support to the project leaders toward creating a strategic plan. The final deliverable will be a draft or a significantly articulated framework upon which the project leaders can complete their own strategic plan.

“It's not a complicated process. Simple paperwork. Helpful assistants. And almost immediate results.” Ellene Meece, RBCHS President

Results To-date:

  • 2016 - 2018 Strategic Planning Session and Plan
  • Expanded fundraising partners
  • Now collaborating with 12 other local organizations

“Constance showed us how to put our dreams in a format that could be executed on with timelines, budget and responsible parties. Which provides a tool for us to convey our dreams to the funders and supporters.” Ellene Meece, RBCHS President

Words of Encouragement for Peers:
“Best advice for those considering new projects is to invite and make a way for your mentor to come on site. Having Constance DeVereaux in our setting really gave her insight into our unique culture and opportunities and she gave us an objective-fresh-eyes source to bring a strategic plan together.” Ellene Meece, RBCHS President

Has your new venture inspired further expansion with your project or others in your community?
“Our venture has given us credence and validity to now collaborate with twelve other organizations within our county.” Ellene Meece, RBCHS President