SHERIDAN — The Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board approved a planning grant request from the Sheridan Economic and Educational Development Authority on Thursday morning.
SEEDA Board Member and Vice President of External Affairs and Economic Development at Sheridan College Susan Bigelow said the $50,000 from the Wyoming Business Council’s Business Ready Community program will provide for expanded opportunities to emphasize creative arts in Sheridan’s economy.
“What we’re doing with this new money is to form an organization of public entities and nonprofits who work in and support the creative economy in Sheridan and Johnson counties,” Bigelow said.
Bigelow indicated she anticipates the formation of a new task force to brainstorm which projects should be selected for development efforts.
“I have a feeling none of those will be new ideas,” Bigelow said.
“We all have some projects that we have been trying to get off the ground and working on,” she added. “What we’ll do is prioritize from that list. We’ll pick three to five and hire a consultant to put some real, robust planning into those projects.”
Bigelow indicated SEEDA plans to continue to work closely with Michael Lang of the Wyoming Arts Council for this new chapter of developments for the creative arts economy.
Bigelow also said some research and planning can also be done at a local level.
Sheridan’s allotment was part of a total $1,042,749 allotted in BRC grants. Other awards were given to Natrona County, the Carbon County Joint Tourism Promotion Board, Converse and Niobrara Counties, the city of Gillette.