We had the good fortune of connecting with Lindsay Sutton-Stephens and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lindsay, how do you think about risk?
I have been very fortunate to have a long career as a contemporary folk artist within the community of Salida, Colorado and beyond. After having my 1st child in 2014, I opened up our 1st storefront, a record store and gallery named Sutty’s Downtown Records & Arts. In this time period I started putting together live music events that have evolved greatly over the last 5 years. Since then I have closed the storefront to concentrate on community minded music productions. I am one of the executive producers of Salida’s Next Last Waltz which is one of the most popular and fastest selling events within this county’s history. Most recently I have taken on the task of rebuilding the FIBArk Whitewater Festival during a global pandemic with a few other community minded folks. I believe in the personality of Salida, Colorado and my mission is to preserve that through the music and arts. It was a leap to stop a lucrative career in festival touring to open the storefront and then another leap to change directions into event production, all are huge passions that are married to one another. 

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I grew up in south Mississippi, not far from New Orleans, not far from Biloxi, not far from the panhandle of Florida. From a young age I was entranced by counter culture, folk art and the unusual. Throughout the early aughts, I took several breaks to the front range of Colorado, thinking it would never be a place that I would land full time because I could not see the eccentricities of the southeast. I traveled for much of my life showing contemporary folk art at festivals throughout the US. Luckily I accidentally landed in the spot, Salida-CO, that would shape my career, philanthropic drive and love. Salida proved to be my little beachtown in the middle of the Rockies that was soaked in that color and personality that I love. 

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The Arkansas River is my home. Our family can be found playing on its banks or rafting its currents on the daily in the warmer months. 

Independent Whitewater/the Drift In. We camp here on most summer/home weekends, floating family friendly sections with our 4 and 7 year. We float in, camp and grab dinner. It is the local’s raft company and favorite river spot. 

The Fritz, my art can be found here year round. The food is amazing. Staff is tops and it is a true local’s favorite dinner spot. Tell Grant I sent ya’. 

Bensons always has a special place in my heart. This is where I met my husband and many years later danced on the bar in my wedding dress. It has been the home to more celebrations in my world than I can count. 

The Vic, RIP, there is too much love to give. 

We have a lot of great new spots in town, check them out. 

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My career and life as a whole has greatly been influenced by the love of color, family and community. This followed me from a very young age growing up in the southeast. My mother, who passed away in 2016, made an imprint on my love for art and music that cannot be denied. I have to express the gratitude I have for the last 15 years of my life within Salida, Colorado. Salida was a town I expected to spend a summer in and ended up inspiring so much I layed roots. I strive constantly to celebrate the beauty and eccentricity that is the Arkansas River Valley. The citizens that bring color and personality to this little world are a driving force and I will keep fighting to keep the enchantment of this town for as long as I can. Last but not least, my family, I met my husband shortly after moving to Salida. Since that fateful meeting, we have opened multiple businesses, started raising two of the coolest #salidakids around and strive to give back to this community that has given us more than we could have ever asked for.

Image Credits
image credit: phreckles photography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.