The Mancos Creative District has hired a director to replace co-directors Sarah Syverson and Carol Mehesy.
Jodi Jahrling, a KSJD Radio DJ with a background in marketing, will step into the leadership role on Friday. The Dolores resident was one of three people interviewed for the position since Syverson and Mehesy announced plans to step down on March 19, district board member Rena Wilson said. Although the Creative District doesn’t have a permanent headquarters, Jahrling plans to set up shop at the Mancos Valley Chamber office on 101 Bauer Ave.
Syverson and Mehesy have said they plan to stay involved with the Creative District on a volunteer basis, but Jahrling will take over leadership of the district’s art projects, marketing and grant writing.
“She has a huge marketing background and is just full of energy,” Wilson said. “I think she’s going to be a nice match for us.”
Jahrling has worked as a marketing representative for the Greeley Stampede rodeo, which draws thousands of guests every year. But she said the experience that prepared her most for the position was her time as head of the nonprofit Minturn Community Fund in Minturn, Colorado, a town about the size of Mancos. Jahrling has practiced photography for about 10 years, and spent last summer managing the Old Tyme Photography studio in Durango.
The Creative District position interested her as soon as she saw it advertised online, she said.
“Seeing that it was a young nonprofit, that was really appealing to me, because I knew that I could help build it up,” she said. “They’ve laid all the groundwork for me.”
The first thing on Jahrling’s to-do list is to find a home in Mancos for headquarters, since the Creative District hasn’t had a building of its own. She said Maggie Goodell, the Mancos Valley Chamber of Commerce administrator, has agreed to let her use some space in the chamber office, but eventually she wants to give the district its own central location.
In the meantime, she said she has plans for a few creative projects this summer, including a concert series, which she said did well in Minturn. She mentioned another project, but wouldn’t give details except to say that would have something to do with dogs.
As director, she will administrate several grants the district recently received, like the Arts in Society award for the “We All Belong” art project, and the Great Outdoors Colorado grant awarded through the Montezuma Inspire Coalition.
Jahrling moved to Dolores in October after spending a year in Durango. But she’s already become involved in the local artistic scene through her work with KSJD and a role in the spring Sunflower Theatre play, “The Butterfly’s Evil Spell.” She plays a cockroach.
As Creative District director, Jahrling said she hopes to foster collaboration between Montezuma County.
“I live in Dolores, I work in Mancos, and I volunteer in Cortez,” she said. “It’s being part of all these communities so that we can work together.”
The next big event on the Creative District’s calendar is the first Grand Summer Nights celebration, scheduled for May 26.