Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) today announced the certification of three new Creative Districts into the Colorado Creative Districts Program. The newly certified districts are Manitou Springs Creative District, Steamboat Springs Creative District and Westwood Creative District (Denver). Certification is for a five year period. Denver's Art District on Santa Fe and the Salida Creative District were approved for re-certification following the initial five year period.
"These 2017 certified creative districts are great examples of how the arts create exciting places for people to visit and live," said Governor John Hickenlooper. "These districts increase quality of life, help with economic vitality of the area and attract people from all over Colorado and the country."
A review panel evaluated applications and three finalists were selected for site visits. Applications were reviewed using the following criteria: district characteristics, management and planning, community buy-in. Districts must meet a rigorous set of minimum standards in order to achieve certification such as recognition by local government, a high concentration of creative organizations and businesses, sustainable funding sources, paid staff, and a strategic plan.
The newly certified districts will join the 18 existing Colorado Creative Districts: 40West Arts District, Breckenridge Creative District, Carbondale Creative District, Corazon de Trinidad, Crested Butte Creative District, Denver's Art District on Santa Fe, Downtown Colorado Springs Creative District, Fort Collins Creative District, Golden Triangle Creative District, Greeley Creative District, Longmont Arts and Entertainment District, Mancos Creative District, North Fork Valley Creative District, Pueblo Creative Corridor, Ridgway Creative District, RiNo Arts District, Salida Creative District and Telluride Arts District.
"The goal of this program is to help Colorado Creative Districts achieve the administrative structure, funding streams, community engagement process and strategic plan that provide opportunities to grow the creative economy," said Margaret Hunt, CCI director.
Along with official designation, each district will receive an award package including financial support, technical assistance, marketing support, access to grants, CDOT highway signs, and leadership training.
Applicants and finalists not selected for official designation will have access to the Call Yourself Creative platform, a website offering access to webinars, case studies and additional resources for building creative communities.