About Create Your State

The Create Your State Tour is a multimedia educational presentation and workshop that inspires and empowers creative community revitalization and development. It provides a full program of immersive experiential learning for leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, students and other involved citizens.

The presentation tells the inspiring story of arts-driven community transformation in Princeton, West Virginia through the eyes of artists and cultural entrepreneurs Lori McKinney and Robert Blankenship. The workshop features the original music of Option 22, visual projections and a compelling exchange about how the arts, creativity and an out-of-the-box approach can establish a creative scene that redefines and reinvigorates a community.

Participants will leave with skills, tools and on-the-ground contacts to ignite positive change in their communities. They will have access to a web portal with step-by-step instructional toolkits, video shorts, webinars and more. And they will receive ongoing guidance from the Create Your State (CYS) founders to execute community projects and plant new creative capital in their communities.

Infused with funding from The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, 25 West Virginia towns have been given the opportunity to host the tour, explore forward-thinking possibilities, and plan meaningful creative projects that will become the catalyst for social and economic change. 

Is your community ready? Click Here to fill out the application below and let us help you Create Your State!

CLICK HERE to learn more about the founders and presenters.


"I have had the pleasure of working with Lori and her band mates with Option 22, and experiencing their Create Your State program and give them an unqualified thumbs-up! Their music helped us launch a broad effort around creating a culture of empowerment, self-actualization and entrepreneurial thinking which has paid many dividends to our community. I highly recommend their wonderful program!” 
Mike Tumbarello, Garrett College, MD 

"The Create Your State presentation by Option 22 was the highlight of the Maryland Association of Public Library Administrators spring conference. The creativity of Option 22 and the community of Princeton WV inspired us to strive for innovative ways to contribute to our local communities here in Maryland." 
Cathy A. Ashby, Maryland Association of Public Library Administrators  

"The Create Your State program is an excellent addition to any programming designed to bring communities together and united toward a common goal.  When this was part of our program, it helped to unify high school students, business people, educators and artisans. The musical component of this presentation is immensely powerful.  Anyone in attendance is sure to benefit greatly!" 
 Jill K. Holliday, New River Community & Technical College 

 CLICK HERE for testimonials from the 2016 West Virginia CYS tour communities.