In addition, 40 West Arts District Lakewood, Downtown Colorado Springs Creative District, Greeley Creative District, Downtown Longmont Arts and Entertainment District and RiNo Art District were approved for recertification.
“The economic impact of Colorado’s creative industries is profound, representing 4.4 percent of the state’s GDP,” said Betsy Markey, executive director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. “Investing in and supporting the arts provides a strong foundation for places where people want to live, work and visit. With 26 certified districts in Colorado, our creative industries continue to benefit Colorado communities.”
A review panel evaluated applications and selected three finalists for a site visit. Each application is reviewed on district characteristics, management and planning, and community buy-in. Districts must meet a rigorous set of minimum standards in order to achieve certification to include recognition by local government, a high concentration of creative organizations and businesses, sustainable funding sources, paid staff and a strategic plan.
The three newly certified districts will join the 23 existing Colorado Creative Districts: 40 West Arts District Lakewood, Breckenridge Creative District, Carbondale Creative District, Corazón 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, Grand Junction Creative District, Grand Lake Creative District, Greeley Creative District, Longmont Arts and Entertainment District, Mancos Creative District, Manitou Springs Creative District, North Fork Valley Creative District, Pueblo Creative Corridor, Ridgway Creative District, RiNo Arts District, Salida Creative District, Steamboat Springs Creative District, Telluride Arts District and Westwood Creative District.
“Colorado certification requirements for creative districts are some of the highest standards in the nation,” said Margaret Hunt, CCI director. “They are predicated on broad-based community engagement and support as well as each community’s authentic and unique story and history.”
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.