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Cold Spring Creative Community Space Plans Small Business Saturday Event

Create Community Co-Founders Drena Fagen, left, and
Dana Whiddon, right.
Create Community Co-Founders Drena Fagen, left, and Dana Whiddon, right. Photo Credit: Submitted

A creative arts community launched by Carmel and Cold Spring residents is introducing themselves to the community with a Local Artisan Market on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 26.

Create Community, a shared work and play space in Nelsonville (bordering Cold Spring), is hosting over 20 vendors from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The Local Artisan Market will offer gifts, goods and nibbles to suit a range of tastes at various price points. The majority of vendors will be selling local handcrafted items.

Offerings include stationery, bath and body goods, sweets, jewelry, original arts and ceramics, apparel, home and garden accessories, and more.

Dana Whiddon, of Carmel, and Drena Fagen, of Cold Spring, co-founded Create Community as a shared work and play space for artists, performers and other creative and healing practitioners.

The 2,600 square foot location opened Oct. 1. It's official open house celebration will be in conjunction with a "Pop-Up" Art Exhibition of local artists curated by Thomas Huber on Saturday Dec. 3 from 3-7p.m.

The community is home to New York creative arts therapists; a Brooklyn-based arts psychotherapy practice; and Coventina Healing Arts, a psychotherapy and community wellness practice.

The founders are licensed art therapists and used to take turns sharing a small one room office at a co-working space in Beacon.

“We set out to find a slightly larger office to share, because our room was too small to run art therapy groups, something we both like to do,” said Fagen, LCSW-R, LCAT. “But instead, we found this amazing space in Cold Spring and got very excited about the possibilities.”

Art therapy is a licensed mental health profession that integrates art making into psychological treatment to improve personal well-being. Although Fagen and Whiddon are both art therapists, they envision the Create Community space being used for much more than running their separate therapy businesses.

“We have upgraded the space, including the installation of a gorgeous bamboo floor, and we are just getting started,” said Whiddon, MA, LCAT, ATR-BC. “We hope this space will attract other creative professionals and healing practitioners who are looking for a place to bring their own projects to fruition. We would really like to provide this space for other people’s business ideas to take root.”

“We all miss the Living Room,” said Fagen, referring to the former event space on Main Street. “We really hope to fill the gap of losing that community space.”

In order to accomplish their goal of filling the space with other creative and like-minded folks, the plan is to keep the rates affordable and flexible. There is one private room available for a long term lease on single days or all seven days. A Community Room will have “desk” rates on a monthly or daily drop-in basis. All fees will includes free wi-fi, coffee, tea, and lots of creative energy.

“Our 500 square foot community room will have a couch, a desk, a large work table, a drawing board, and maybe even space for an easel,” said Fagen. “Instead of defaulting to the local coffee shop, you can get your work done in a genuinely creative environment.”

The two large open spaces total 1000 square feet and can accommodate up to 150 people for a standing event.

“We’d love to see a pop-up restaurant, art openings, creativity workshops, corporate trainings, dance rehearsals, and more,” said Whiddon.

“In January, I plan to offer a drop-in Open Art Studio for tweens and teens,” said Fagen. “The kids can easily walk here from Haldane after school. I think our community could use more quality and affordable teen programs and I am excited to be able to finally offer one. This new space really supports these kinds of ideas becoming reality.”

Nancy Bauch, founder of the Center for Contemporary Crafts, used to call the Create Community location her actual home. “I lived in this exact space about 10 years ago, with a working ceramics studio in place,” said Bauch. “It’s nice to be back.”

She has already hosted a series of ceramics workshops, promoting the Center for Contemporary Crafts.

Holly Flannery, another local craftsperson, heard about the space from a friend and held sold-out workshops on using Precious Metal Clay in October and November. For more information on Flannery’s workshops, email

For more information about Create Community, see its Facebook page .

For more information about New York Creative Arts Therapists PLLC, visit its website .

For more information about Coventina Healing Arts, visit its website .

For more information about White Forest Pottery and the Center for Contemporary Crafts (CCC) see its website .

Create Community is located at 11 Peekskill Road (parking lot and entrance on Pine Street) in Nelsonville (bordering Cold Spring).

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