Give credit to the folks at Create West Virginia. While the volunteers who run the organization don't have superhuman powers, they see through barriers.
No source of permanent income? "We'll make things happen," they say.
No paid employees? "We'll work with creative volunteers around the state who are willing to contribute their time and talents."
No conference facilities in the remote mountain town where the next conference is to take place? "It's an ideal setting for a conference on the future."
Talk about innovation. Create West Virginia brings a fresh approach to establishing a new economy in West Virginia, encouraging a creative class not bound by traditional roles and traditional industries.
Create West Virginia's 6th annual training and education conference will be Oct. 24-26, in Richwood. Conferences like this usually take place in bigger venues, like the Huntington Civic Center or Stonewall Resort, where past Create conferences have been.
But Create West Virginia intentionally likes to do things differently, no matter how much additional work it takes. That's why conference organizers chose the quaint old Nicholas County lumber town that has definitely seen more prosperous days.
As reported by Caitlin Cook in the Sunday Gazette-Mail, Create West Virginia aims to bring together businesses, artists and entrepreneurs to spark new, creative economic opportunities. In Richwood, the conference hopes to showcase how small towns can reinvent themselves and their economies.
Volunteers are cleaning up old vacant buildings along Main Street for various stations. Keynote portions will be in the modern and comfortable auditorium at Richwood High School, but storefronts and local cafes will be involved.
"It's not about Richwood really; it's about West Virginia," said conference director Rebecca Kimmons. "It's about what can be done in these communities if people will reassess what their sustainable assets are."
West Virginia's traditional industries still play a vital role in the state's economy, and will for years. Yet the state gains by the growth of a creative class encouraged by organizations like Create West Virginia.
Here's wishing the group a great conference. Learn more at www.createwv.org.