CRAFT Case Study: Rocky Ford Historical Museum, Otero County

Rocky Ford Historical Museum was awarded a CRAFT Mentor program by the Colorado Tourism Office in fall 2018. The objective of this CRAFT Mentor program was to create an interpretive brief that would influence future exhibits to be user-friendly and interactive.

Located in Otero County, Rocky Ford Historical Museum’s mission is to explore the history and everyday life of the people in the Rocky Ford and the Arkansas Valley from 1878 to present.

CRAFT Mentor Program Results

The Colorado Tourism Office matched Rocky Ford Historical Museum with Jackie Noble, a CRAFT Mentor with experience in interpretive planning to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Received $1,000 from CRAFT Mentor Implementation Funds to create interpretive signs for 11 artifacts, generating additional media coverage and engagement with locals
  • Created an Interpretive Brief with a conceptual space plan and an implementation guide for future exhibits, including cost estimates and scheduling requirements
  • Designed a Conservation Lab to give each artifact a story after triage, conservation, inventory, recording, and preparation for exhibiting
  • Established new partnerships with local organizations and experienced a 12% increase in museum visitors. Interacted with 200 new people through outside programs
  • Increased exposure to all audiences: local children, local couples and individual middle-aged adults, single individual seniors, ancestry tourists, visiting ex-pats who once lived in Rocky Ford, and day-trippers from the Front Range (especially Colorado Springs)
  • Expanded museum hours of operation
  • Implemented marketing strategies to generate awareness via consistent and relevant content across all media streams

“Rocky Ford Historical Museum’s participation in the CRAFT Mentor program exposed us to a network of resources, who in turn provided access to more resources, who in their turn linked us to more resources and sources of energy and ideas.” — Emmett Davis, Project Lead

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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.


Rocky Ford Historical Museum
(719) 254-6737