Preserving the Past – Building the Future in Colorado

Colorado SBDC SuccessSuccess Story: Colorado

Lynn Brittner started planning the Southern-Ute Cultural Center and Museum more than 10 years ago. The Center’s opening this past May was her reward for years of holding the vision.

Brittner’s relationship with the Southwest Colorado Small Business Development Center started way back at the beginning. She needed help and only had three staff. A grant from the Administration for Native Americans provided funds for her to take Board members to visit other successful and non-successful museums around the country, with an emphasis on tribal museums. They had a lot to learn about creating a world class structure inside and out in Ignacio.

The Southwest Colorado SBDC Director had students from a business class at Fort Lewis help with the research Brittner would need to write the business plan. “The SBDC has been a consistent support and on-going resource. They have introduced me to people who could help with various aspects of the project and found us grant money to update the strategic plan,” says Brittner.

Brittner was surprised at how many details have to be considered in creating a museum and exhibits. “We had to consider the exterior design, the interior design, signage, height of the educational plaques, size of the displays, as well as their user friendliness and degree of engagement.” 

The Cultural Center and Museum features a panoramic cinema, stunning exhibits and interactive displays. Priceless artifacts can be viewed as well as beautiful jewelry, baskets and bead work.

In addition to exhibits teaching about the history and culture of the Ute Indians, the museum sponsors cultural events and has a facility available to rent for weddings, parties and staff retreats.

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The Colorado Small Business Development Center Network (CSBDC) is dedicated to helping existing and new businesses grow and prosper in Colorado by providing free and confidential consulting and no- or low-cost training programs. The CSBDC has 14 full-time centers and over 60 satellite offices with a team of business experts ready to help create and retain jobs, secure loans, increase sales, win government contracts, obtain certifications and more. Read more Colorado SBDC success stories here!