Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) in partnership with the Boettcher Foundation, recently announced the certification of four new Creative Districts and the acceptance of seven Candidate Districts into the Colorado Creative Districts Program.
The newly certified districts include: 40 West Arts District, Lakewood, Downtown Colorado Springs, RiNo Art District Denver and the Greeley Creative District.
Candidate districts entering the program include: Mancos Creative District, Manitou Springs Arts Council Creative District, Crestone Creative District,Crested Butte Creative District, Downtown Fort Collins Creative District, Carbondale Historic Downtown Core and the Evergreen Creative District.
Governor John Hickenlooper commented: “These 2014 certified and candidate creative districts are great examples of how the arts create exciting places for people to visit and live. These districts not only increase quality of life, they also help with economic vitality of the area and attract people from all over Colorado and the country.”
These newly certified districts have been working towards certification for 2 years. To become a Certified Creative District, certain standards must be met including having local government endorsement, being conscious of urban renewal, tourism and city planning as well as having a unique story that is reflected in your community.
Margaret Hunt, director of CCI and friend of Arts For Colorado explains: “The goal of this program is to help Colorado Creative Districts achieve the administrative structure, funding streams, community engagement process, strategic plan and staff structure that provide opportunities to grow the creative economy,”.
CCI’s website elaborates on the Creative District two-year candidacy. ‘The program offers Candidate Creative Districts benefits in the form of direct funding and professional assistance, training and networking with peers. Candidate districts are eligible to apply for certification at the end of two years. Submissions are then reviewed by panelists using the following criteria: district characteristics, management and planning, community buy-in, and other factors. Each candidate district will be awarded a $5,000 matching grant from CCI’.
Unfortunately, not all candidate districts were accepted. As noted in this article, downtown Longmont did not receive its expected designation as a certified Creative District. Some communities, despite planning, simply don’t meet the criteria set forth by the CCI.
Arts For Colorado would like to thank the Colorado Creative Industries for all the great work they continue to do for the state.
If you would like more information about the Creative District program, please visit: www.coloradocreativeindustries.org
Article by: Stefan Runstrom