Organizer pleased with OCCHS ‘vision’ meeting

       The organizer of a meeting June 14 on the future of the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) was pleased with how it went.

Participants at the History Center break up into small groups during a June 14 public meeting to help develop a five-year plan for the Old Colorado City Historical Society.
Westside Pioneer photo

       “It was positive, with good suggestions on where to pay attention as we move forward,” said Joanne Karlson, head of the OCCHS' vision committee.
       The get-together was promoted as the first-ever town hall “vision” meeting -open to anyone, not just OCCHS members - for the all-volunteer entity which owns and operates the Old Colorado City History Center at 1 S. 24th St.
       As it turned out, the meeting attracted about 30 people - most of them regular OCCHS volunteers - but Karlson said the gathering “achieved what we wanted. It got people talking, thinking, and sharing.”
       The entity is trying to develop a five-year plan. The meeting started with talks by several active volunteers, who brought out that the center is financially stable and actively involved with area schools, businesses, the Old Colorado City Library and other museums. “We don't just sit here and watch the cobwebs grow,” OCCHS board member Cathy Murphy said.
       Concepts discussed at the meeting included expanding the historical scope (the current mission plan “stops” history at 1917, when Colorado City was annexed to Colorado Springs), attracting more public interest (using such tools as the Internet and the media), increasing membership (the current number is 276) and imagining a “perfect-world” future (among the possibilities mentioned were a larger building, being open Sundays and having a paid curator).
       Dave Hughes, a long-time Westside leader and co-founder of the OCCHS, proposed what Karlson described as a “virtual historical society, accessible by Internet connection with photos and descriptions of artifacts, programs and more.” The plan “will re-quire some study by the vision committee,” she said.
       The meeting was part of continuing committee efforts. It plans to make recommendations to the OCCHS board in the fall.

Westside Pioneer article