Home Artistic creation Durango Creative District appoints Interim Director – the Durango Herald

Durango Creative District appoints Interim Director – the Durango Herald



Susan Lander brings 25 years of experience working with non-profit organizations

Susan Lander brings 25 years of experience working with non-profit organizations to the Durango Creative District as the new Interim Director (Courtesy of Durango Creative District)

The Durango Creative District board has appointed Susan Lander as interim director after the former director resigned amid controversy over a roundtable discussion to discuss the brutal cancellation of “native mascots”.

Lander was involved in the creation of the Durango Creative District two years ago, partnering with Local First and around 20 local artists to form the district.

“Becoming a creative neighborhood has been a passion that I have had for a long time,” she said. “I have visited many creative neighborhoods all over the state, and they are really making an economic impact on the community.

Lander comes to the Creative District with over 25 years of experience working and managing nonprofit organizations. She has served on the board of directors of Colorado Creative Industries, Rainbow Youth Center, El Pomar Foundation, Women’s Resource Center, Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame, and Community Resource Center.

“We are delighted that Susan is taking on this role as the Durango Creative District strives to support the Colorado Creative Districts program’s goal of” serving as a focal point to celebrate and strengthen the unique identity of a community, to become a space. ” to showcase cultural and artistic organizations and events, and contribute to the development of healthy communities, ”Durango Creative District board chair Charles Leslie said in a press release.

For several years, Lander also worked as the executive director of the Music in the Mountains classical music festival in Durango.

Since 2012, Lander said she has worked as a consultant to more than 60 local and national organizations, on projects primarily related to the arts.

“I’m really working on board development and teaching people how to fundraise,” she said.

Ten years ago, Lander said she was appointed by the governor to serve on the Colorado Creative Industries Council and served on that council for about five years.

Lander said she hopes to see the Creative District develop in a way that promotes art in Durango during the winter months.

“There are a lot of people who travel who don’t come to Durango to ski,” she said. “If we promote the arts, we can organize off-season events for people who come to Durango for other reasons.

With the former Creative District director resigned earlier this month, Lander said that for the most part she was keeping things together and not planning anything new for the district.

“For the next two months there is nothing planned,” she said. “Right now, I’m regrouping. “

The Creative District is still waiting to know how much tenant tax revenue it will receive in 2022 from the city of Durango. Part of the city’s renter tax increase in April 2021 allocates 14% of the money raised through the arts tax.

Former principal Hayley Kirkman has resigned amid the abrupt cancellation of a roundtable scheduled for earlier this month to discuss Indigenous mascots. The event was hosted by the indigenous justice activist group Four Borderless Corners, along with the Durango Creative District and the Durango Arts Center.

The event was canceled after the director of the Durango Creative District and members of its board of directors received an email from the Toh-Atin gallery expressing concerns that the panel was meeting specifically to attack the event. company for its “chef” sign – an imposing representation of a Native American appears outside the Toh-Atin Gallery.

Many believe the cartoonish depiction of a Native American on the sign is racist and demeaning.

Lander declined to comment on the roundtable cancellation and did not share his views on “the chef.” She said the Durango Creative District was working on a press release regarding the event cancellation.

njohnson @ durangoherald