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Thread summary:

Colorado: diversity, liberals, conservatives, traffic, affordable.

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Old 11-08-2006, 12:16 AM
 
Location: IE CA.
643 posts, read 2,227,832 times
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In Montrose or near Silverton is there an area with the arts? It seems I saw that Montrose has a 15% Hispanic population (my daughter is hisp) so I was assuming it is diverse, is it very liberal?
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Old 11-08-2006, 05:39 AM
 
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Coltoncity, Montrose is in growing pains. It is small, but growing all of a sudden and quite a lot. It will have a mix of liberals and conservatives. They will usually be more of the middle of the road type of people, on both sides. You can go to Grand Junction for a lot more shopping. Silverton is a very cold little town that pretty much shuts down to the world in winter, except for a few hardy souls and avid skiers. It can get huge amounts of snow and fairly often. It is due to it being so high up.

The arts, Durango is the queen belle of the ball on the arts, but Montrose will have some. You don't have to worry about race in southwest Colorado. They all get along great. It may be due to the fact southwest Colorado has had many races reign there. Native Americans, Spanish, Mexicans and the settlers. Then you have a very progressive bunch moving in for many years now.
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Old 11-08-2006, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Montrose
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I've mostly been very pleasantly surprised with the arts here in Montrose. There are a surprising number of performers who come here, from Dave Stamey (Western/Cowboy) to a top-rated Flamenco guitarist/dancers to the local valley symphony (very small, but enthusiastic) to classical pianists. We've also seen numerous art shows, have a local theater group who are amazingly good, have local choruses and bands, chamber music, etc. We have "Second Sunday Cinema" on the 2nd Sunday of each month which often shows a foreign film and includes a discussion period.

For such a small town, Montrose has a lot of interesting cultural events!
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Old 11-09-2006, 02:18 AM
 
Location: IE CA.
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Thank you for that info., I have two places Im looking at and that is wonderful things to know about. It is interesting you mention Flamenco because that is what my daughter concentrates on. She also paints and I would be looking for a school of the arts. would I be more likely to find one toward Durango or could there be one somewhat near Montrose? Isnt Montrose about 5000 ft? I really appreciate your help and patience this has been wonderful ... thanks again.
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Old 11-09-2006, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Montrose
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coltoncity,

Here are a few websites that may help you get a more detailed picture of Montrose:

http://www.montrosechamber.com/calendar.asp (broken link)
http://www.visitmontrose.net/index.html (broken link)
http://www.montroserec.com/

The town of Montrose is at an elevation just slightly below 6000'.

I think there are a couple of dance studios in Montrose:
"A Time to Dance" (couldn't find a website, but phone number is 970-249-5332)
and
"Park Avenue Danceworks" (http://www.danceworks.com/Broch.htm (broken link)).

There is also a School of Art:
http://www.ugot2haveart.com/ (broken link)

(I guess this Forum doesn't support actual hyperlinks, but you can at least cut and paste the web addresses into your browser)
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Old 11-10-2006, 12:16 AM
 
Location: IE CA.
643 posts, read 2,227,832 times
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Thank you I will check the links out right now.
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Old 01-26-2008, 04:47 PM
 
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A whole lot of the growth in Montrose is coming from retirees - there are a LOT of older people here. That helps in the arts area because retirees seem to be active and interested in lots of stuff. There is a great little theater in Montrose that puts on some very good shows. The Montrose Arts Council is a little staid but has some good shows. There is a wonderful artist who is part of the group who you'd want to meet - Sharon - she's a former art teacher and a marvelous artist.

Sort of close to Montrose is Hotchkiss which has a very good art center - the Creamery Art Center. It has classes and shows, and this year has opened a gallery section specifically for young artists. They have monthly artist shows & openings and they have a very active group of artists who are members. The Creamery has classes in many artistic media, including a great pottery studio and stained glass studio that are both low-cost yet well maintained.

In Delta, about 20 miles north of Montrose, there is a recreation center (Bill Heddles RC) that offers a good variety of youth classes and activities, including different types of dance classes.

While you won't find the full buffet of cultural activities you'd get in a larger metro area, there are a lot of artists and artisans in the area and the region has some rich culture. And you benefit by living in a less crowded, less polluted area. Although people can't seem to pave over the open land fast enough lately to get all the chain stores in, so don't expect Montrose to stay nice for many more years. It has changed significantly (for the worse) in the 5 years I've been in the area.

Re: diversity and acceptance in Montrose ...

I have a foreign-born husband and we've lived in the area for 5 years. I have found Montrose to be very conservative with a few pockets of liberal people. I have found them to be in general not very accepting of "foreigners", ie: anyone who is non-white or thought to be non-US born. Naturally that is a generalization - there are many lovely people who just don't care. But it is far more conservative and - dare I say it? - bigotted than I really expected. I had an idea in my head that Colorado in general would be very open to many races and creeds, but that is not very true on the Western Slope.

I don't want to be too negative, but I'd talk to more people about the ethnic thing before commiting to moving here. Although there is a fairly large Hispanic population in the county, many locals do not seem to embrace their contributions. I don't have children in school so I can't tell you what the kids are like. But I've been around and among the adults in stores and businesses and community groups, and there is definitely some anti non-white/non-"like us" issues here. Not to the level of people being physically attacked, not at all - but certainly my husband has been treated badly many times due to his accent. People treat him like he's stupid because he doesn't speak perfect English, even though he has a Masters degree in mathematics. And people I know personally have related many stories of discrimination and poor treatment because their mate is of Hispanic origin. There are very few African American families or Asian families in the entire county.

I suppose that's true almost anywhere - in general, the USA is not the tolerant melting pot we fantasize about. But I'd like to think there are more places where anyone can fit in comfortably regardless of accent or ethnicity - I just don't think the Western Slope is one of those places.

On the other hand - I'd suggest a look at Paonia. It is a small town to the east of Delta, higher elevation. It seems to be a pocket of liberal people, sort of "retro hippies". They have a great movie theater that actually plays "intellectual" movies instead of just what's current. They have the Blue Sage art center which hosts many musical, dance and artistic events. It's a small community but very interesting and more diverse (eg. tolerant) than many of the others in the area. I should have moved there instead of where I am :-)

Best of luck to you in your move. I hope you find the perfect place for your family to thrive and be happy.
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Old 01-26-2008, 05:41 PM
 
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First, Montrose can be still marginally affordable if you must depend on a local income in any way. Durango pretty much isn't. Whatever a house costs in Montrose (and that's enough), you can just about double it in Durango. $200K in Montrose--$370-$400K in Durango. Real estate prices have gone insane in Silverton, too, and everything posted about the difficulty of living there in the winter is, if anything, understated. I talked to a friend of mine up there a few days ago--snow about 6' deep on the level, both roads out of town closed by avalanches for two days, snowslides running just outside the town limits. Living there is just a whole different paradigm. Paonia does have some "retro hippies," but no one should be confused about the culture there. Paonia remains very tied to the coal mines that operate just up the road. There are many coal miners that live there, so it very much still is "a mining town." That isn't a bad thing, but your neighbor is just as likely to be a miner as a yuppie or hippie arts aficionado. Oh yeah, the only really decent paying jobs are at the mines.

Second, you can read my other posts about growth in the whole area: a lot of it, and not smart growth.

Finally, as to "diversity." There are essentially two major ethnic groups in western Colorado--"Anglo" and Hispanic. If there is "tension" in western Colorado, it is because there has been a huge influx of Hispanic immigrants (legal or otherwise) from Mexico and other Latin countries into the area in the last 10 years or so. Unfortunately, some of these folks made a stop in California where some of them and/or some of their kids learned to be little "gang-bangers." So, now there is a gang problem in western Colorado. This has ignited some prejudice in western Colorado against the "illegals." I've never felt that it was directed so much at the old-line Hispanic families in the area (many of whom can trace their Colorado roots back many generations), but rather toward the recent immigrants who, sadly, seem to be at the root of a fair amount of crime, drugs, and other problems. A look at the local police blotters in most western Colorado towns will confirm the trend.

Western Colorado can be a nice place to live--much nicer if you bring your job and your money with you . . .
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Denver
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Default Montrose diversity

I work with the county folks (I live in Denver) and it is still heavily (politically) conservative both from new arrivals and traditionally. There is a Tibetan or similar restaurant on route 50 east of the main intersection, the rest of the food is heavily ranch country with a number of Mexican and Italian restaurants. The Hispanic population, much of it, have been ranchers there for generations. The town and county of Ouray is between Silverton--a tiny isolated mtn town, that was totally isolated in snows just recently--and Montrose. That road is called the million dollar highway not because of its quality but because of the mining that put it there. I used to drive it for work but quit when on an icy spring day I met a semi truck coming the opposite way. It's best left to locals unless it's summer.

Mostly in Ouray you find ranchers and real estate types because the weather drives a lot of newcomers to leave quickly, but it is a beautiful place if you like to ice climb. Very small--everyone goes to Montrose for all their major shopping, that or Grand Junction.

Liberals tend to be east of Delta up past Fruita where there are some organic farmers, and in Telluride or Norwood, southwest of Montrose. In nine years I have only met one very liberal person, from California, and they finally moved to Grand Junction where they are closer to the airport, the Vail area, etc.
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Denver
1,082 posts, read 4,292,543 times
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Default diversity again

I quote jazzlover: "

Quote:
Finally, as to "diversity." There are essentially two major ethnic groups in western Colorado--"Anglo" and Hispanic. If there is "tension" in western Colorado, it is because there has been a huge influx of Hispanic immigrants (legal or otherwise) from Mexico and other Latin countries into the area in the last 10 years or so. Unfortunately, some of these folks made a stop in California where some of them and/or some of their kids learned to be little "gang-bangers." So, now there is a gang problem in western Colorado. This has ignited some prejudice in western Colorado against the "illegals." I've never felt that it was directed so much at the old-line Hispanic families in the area (many of whom can trace their Colorado roots back many generations), but rather toward the recent immigrants who, sadly, seem to be at the root of a fair amount of crime, drugs, and other problems. A look at the local police blotters in most western Colorado towns will confirm the trend.
Jazzlover, this is an example of the sort of post that really makes a place sound bad. First of all there are a LOT more ethnic groups than the two you cite, and I should know. I have traveled rural colorado for nine years and work closely with people everywhere. The fact is, upper class white folks ( I must include myself in this demographic group) often have a way of seeing everyone non-white as either invisible, [for example the resident of another county that told me "there are no people of color in Garfield county"] or undesireable.

Lots of white people moved in also, and are also having hard times economically but you fail to mention that fact. I know there are unmarried single moms, poor working stiffs, etc, who came in, and I know lots of white folks in rural and western Colorado with drug problems, but they aren't mentioned or blamed, because they blend in. If the local police blotter mentions race, then that is their issue and the readers' stereotype of neighborhoods.

Last edited by esya; 01-26-2008 at 08:13 PM.. Reason: left off my reply
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