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NFVCC is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to foster the development of a vibrant community and diverse creative economy in the North Fork Valley of western Colorado.



CELEBRATE  our local heritage and character

REVITALIZE our economy

ENCOURAGE self-sufficiency

AMPLIFY the beauty of our public spaces

TEACH and inspire our youth

ENGAGE community networking


We strive to grow the Valley's economy by:

ATTRACTING more visitors

ENCOURAGING artists and creatives to find their homes here

CELEBRATING our community’s unique identity and heritage

SHOWCASING cultural and artistic orgs, events and amenities

ENHANCING and preserving our unique quality of life

ENGAGING community networking


We believe in the value of creativity.

COMMUNITIES with diversified economies are more resilient to changing economic and sociopolitical trends. We encourage the diversification and stability of our economy by focusing on our creative industries. We support many types of makers, including, but not limited to: visual artists, designers, performing artists, culinary artists and value-added food makers, arts activists, young artists and healing arts practitioners. Our Programs are designed to strengthen and enhance the creative labors of our community.

Directory of Creatives



  • Online Creative Directory Listing
  • Features in our Monthly Newsletter
  • Features on our Social Media pages (IG & FB)
  • Art Fair Vendor Opportunities
  • Additional Marketing Opportunities


  • Creative Placemaking – public art, green spaces, streetscapes
  • Signage & Wayfinding 
  • Colorado Creative Corridor partnership with Carbondale, Crested Butte, Paonia, Ridgway, Salida, and Gunnison
  • Local collaborations
  • Signature Events


  • Final Friday Frolics – year-round monthly artwalks
  • Mountain Harvest Festival (Sept)
  • Paonia Holiday Art Fair (Dec)


The North Fork Valley Creative Coalition (NFVCC) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization in the state of Colorado, working to strengthen a strong, balanced economy through the creative industries.

The NFVCC administers several programs and events in the North Fork Valley, including: Paonia Creative District, Colorado Creative Corridor Paonia, Space to Create Paonia, Final Friday Frolics monthly artwalks, NFV Art+Ag Tour, Paonia Holiday Art Fair, Create::Success, Create:: Connections, Creative::Co-Op, and Pop-Up Art Gallery.

We envision a thriving community where art and ag meet.

Our mission is to grow economic activity, nurture creative community networking, create opportunities for our youth, encourage self-sufficiency, and increase the beauty of our public spaces while celebrating our local heritage and character.

We strive to be a financially stable organization capable of delivering services to our members and governing the Paonia Creative District. We promote arts and cultural events through strategic marketing campaigns. We continue to increase local awareness and appreciation of the Paonia Creative District. We partner with other established organizations to develop relationships and activities that create prosperity in our Western Slope mountain community.

In a series of conversations called North Fork Vision 2020, citizens identi ed opportunities for ve sectors of the community (arts, agriculture, energy, health, tourism + recreation) to come together to use their collective strengths to build a balanced and diverse economy. Following the Vision 2020 convenings in 2010, the arts sector continued to meet regularly, and so the North Fork Valley Creative Coalition was born.

The North Fork Valley Creative Coalition, Inc. incorporated as a nonprofit organization in the state of Colorado in early 2012. During this time, the NFVCC was invited by Colorado Creative Industries to apply for the Colorado Creative District program. In May 2012, the North Fork Valley Creative District came to life. As an emerging Creative District, the NFV received funding and technical assistance resources to develop the organization, capacity, brand and identity. The NFVCC hired its rst staff person and completed its first Strategic Plan in March 2013. In June 2013, the North Fork Valley was designated a Certified Creative District. The NFVCC completed its By Laws and received IRS 501(c)3 status in August 2014.

At present, the NFVCC continues to develop its identity, membership, programs, partnerships, influence and economic impact.

In 2018, The NFVCC continued to develop its identity, membership, programs, partnerships, influence and economic impact. The NFVCC faced challenges in managing a tri-town Creative District. Each town has their own specific needs and resource deficits. Also, Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) changed the guidelines for what constitutes a Creative District. According to CCI, Creative Districts must  “comprise a geographically contiguous area.” The new distinction and the need to recertify in 2018, made it clear that the North Fork Valley Creative District must shrink its geographic boundaries and rebrand as the Paonia Creative District. 

Since the rebranding in 2018, the Paonia Creative District continues to represent the best of arts and culture in the NFV and has served as a successful model for the other towns of Delta County. The NFVCC has developed Paonia’s downtown as a vibrant hub through creative placemaking, wayfinding and signage, events, and programming.  The last several years have seen a more bustling downtown with new businesses, workspaces, boutiques, and galleries, as well as individual artists moving and making their homes here.  

NFVCC has refined our signature events, while membership has gradually increased.  The NFVCC continues to work on community outreach, collaborations with other nonprofits, and additional member services.  With the dissolution of a local nonprofit in 2022, the NFVCC took over Mountain Harvest Festival, a big legacy event in Paonia that is a locals’ favorite and large tourist draw.  This important event highlights local musicians, performers, artists, artisans, winemakers, and farmers while drawing attention to the Paonia Creative District and Delta County as a whole.  

In its eleventh year operating, the NFVCC has gained recognition as a strong organization that people want to work with and be a part of.  While increasing outreach and information-gathering, the NFVCC has been meeting with local groups, such as Senior Connections, to glean what arts and culture projects community members want to see.  It is a very exciting time of growth for the NFVCC and the Paonia Creative District.


The geography of Colorado’s Western Slope ranges from alpine valleys nestled between ice-topped peaks, through juniper-clad hills downward to slick rock deserts, mesas and deep river gorges. In the heart of the Western Slope lies the fertile North Fork Valley.

This valley,  settled long ago, has developed a unique heritage and character.

Since the 1880’s the North Fork Valley has been home to generations of hard-working ranchers, shepherds, farmers, orchardists and coal miners. Clear Rocky Mountain water flows through a carefully maintained network of reservoirs, irrigation ditches and water rights, allowing crops, animals and humans to flourish on the mesas and bottomlands in this high desert. The North Fork Valley once hosted the largest fruit and wine harvest in the west. Upwards of 100,000 people came annually to harvest and celebrate its bounty. The valley’s high altitude and mild autumns cornered the market for late-season fruit, which was shipped across the U.S. thanks to another sort of harvest — winter ice from the 300+ lakes on Grand Mesa, stored all summer in large icehouses. The advent of refrigeration and large-scale imports severely impacted the valley’s agricultural enterprises, and hundreds of acres of orchards and farms have reverted to sagebrush since WWII.

In recent decades, vintners, winemakers, organic growers and urban refugees seeking a wholesome and authentic community in which to raise families or retire have joined these ‘old-timers’. They too have discovered the difficulties of wrestling more than a subsistence living from this beautiful but physically and economically isolated area.

Contemporary life in the North Fork is both charmed and challenged.

In the heart of the Western Slope lies a fertile land where artists, farmers, ranchers, miners, and outdoor enthusiasts live. The North Fork of the Gunnison River carves a path between the West Elks mountain range and an expansive valley. The North Fork Valley of Delta County comprises the towns of Paonia, Hotchkiss, and Crawford. With an approximate population of 9,000 people, the NFV is a desirable place to live a slow paced, high quality life.

Historically, the towns have operated independently, each having its own Board of Trustees, schools, libraries, and churches. Each town has unique characteristics and personality. This uniqueness makes them interesting and, since they are very small towns, makes their long-term sustainability challenging. In the last decade, citizens and governing entities have recognized the need for more collaboration and resource sharing. The future viability of Paonia, Hotchkiss, and Crawford depends on new innovative ideas, diversified economic streams, and authentic communication.



The Town of Crawford has long been known as a cow town and for its cattle drives down our main street, which is Hwy. 92, each spring and fall. Our beautiful town was named after Captain George A. Crawford, whose idea to start a post office in this area resulted in the growth of a town. Crawford is the high-altitude beauty of the North Fork Valley.

Many areas in Crawford Country are natural migratory routes for both elk and deer making Crawford a great place to come and hunt! The outlying areas are popular birthing grounds for hundreds of cow elk and doe. At various times during the year, you may see bear, wild turkey, pheasants, hawks eagles, bob cat, fox, coyotes, rabbits, an occasional mountain lion as well as Gunnison sage grouse.


Our small Town of 1000 has become the home of the Hotchkiss Sheep Camp Stock Dog Trials, the Delta County Fair, and some of the best Champion Fly Fishing on the nearby Gunnison River. Hotchkiss is nestled in one of the most beautiful, breathtaking environments, having so much to offer for those looking for a getaway, getting back to nature, or just experiencing some of the most delicious tastes in Wine and Food.

As every year passes, the Town becomes more and more of a location where people travel to hunt, fish and take in the local atmosphere. Fresh fruits from our local orchards, tasty wines from our local vineyards and fresh vegetables from our local farmers offers some of the most sought after flavors not found anywhere else other than the North Fork Valley.


Paonia is naturally air conditioned by warm air flowing up the valley at night and cool air from the mountains during the day resulting in optimal conditions for growing cherries, apricots, grapes, peaches, plums, pears, nectarines and apples. Vast reserves of coal lay buried in the area. The advent of the railroad made the shipping of coal economical and today, coal mining is our major industry.

Paonia is a focal point of back roads and trails leading into the forest, attracting hunters, hikers bicyclists and cross-country skiers. Hunters outfit themselves in Paonia before setting out to get their elk, deer, and bear. Few places offer such a wonderful combination of climate, scenery, lifestyle and recreation.