Nestled deep in the Bohemian Alps of Central Nebraska is a special place: Valley County. Here we have amazing stories to tell and some pretty darn creative ways of telling them.
At any moment you might find yourself in the company of a cowboy poet, an octogenarian accordion player, a major Nashville recording artist, or a third-generation artisan glass blower. Come gather at The Golden Husk for a Night of Opera, take a tour of Main Street Gallery, spend a day of inspiration at Elyria Gardens, watch the sunset over Mira Valley, grab some locally brewed goodness at Scratchtown: The options are limitless! Here we embrace the goodness around us while flowing like the North Loup River: gentle and welcoming and deeply connected to our creative place. We have a burning passion for creativity and a true love for our artists. We shine a light on what’s local, as well as regularly hosting world class talent.
We believe that talent and vitality help grow connection, economic development, and attraction. Collaboration is a mindset here, which is why the communities of Ord, Arcadia, North Loup & Elyria continually come together to uplift the assets of the Valley County.
In 2020, the Nebraska State legislature passed a bill to create the Creative Districts program. The program works to promote and support economic development and placemaking opportunities in communities dedicated to growing their arts-related economic sectors.
Nebraska Creative Districts must submit a letter of interest, an Eligibility Assessment, and a Strategic Plan as part of the approval process. Goals can include attracting artists and creative enterprises, encouraging business and job development, establishing the district as a tourist destination, preserving and reusing historic buildings, and promoting the district’s cultural and historical heritage.
Valley County was recently named a certified Nebraska Creative District and was awarded a $10,000 Nebraska Arts Council Certification Grant. The Nebraska Creative District Program utilizes the arts as an economic driver to support communities in Nebraska by telling their stories and elevating the value of the arts.
The Valley County Creative District is a collaborative effort of local leaders and artists to highlight the importance of arts and the vast amount of creative assets in Valley County. Several community initiatives helped support the creation of the Valley County Creative District and completed the application for certification, including: Ord Area Chamber of Commerce, Valley County Economic Development, Valley County Community Foundation Fund, Valley County Tourism, Valley County Historical Society, Valley County Supervisors, and The Golden Husk. The mission of the Creative District is to build a collective home for creatives, driven by the diverse participation of innovative talent, supported by abundant pride in the arts and unique beauty of Valley County.
If you would like more information on the Valley County Creative District and how to get involved, contact the Ord Area Chamber office at (308) 728-7875. For more information about the Creative District program, please visit the Nebraska Arts Council website at www.artscouncil.nebraska.gov/explore/creative-districts/ or call the office at 402-595-2122.