Special to the Plaindealer
DENVER - June 26, 2013 - Colorado Creative Industries (CCI), a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and the Boettcher Foundation are pleased to announce the certification of five new creative districts through the Colorado Creative Districts Program: Pueblo Creative Corridor, Corazon de Trinidad, North Fork Valley Creative District, Ridgway Creative District and Telluride Creative District.
"These 2013 certified creative districts are great examples of how the arts create exciting places for people to visit and live," said Gov. Hickenlooper. "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."
Initiated in 2011 with the signing of House Bill 11-1031, the Colorado Creative District's program first certified Denver's Arts District on Santa Fe and Downtown Salida, with an additional 13 districts granted prospective and emerging status.
"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 both immediate sustainability and opportunities to evolve," said Margaret Hunt, Director of Colorado Creative Industries.
The second-year grants will provide $15,000 and technical assistance opportunities to each of the five new Certified Creative Districts. They will also be eligible to receive a Boettcher Leadership Award of $10,000.
"The state's newly designated Creative Districts are capitalizing on Colorado's creative assets to grow their local economy and to improve the quality of life for their residents," said Tim Schultz President and Executive Director at the Boettcher Foundation. "We want to help them be successful and sustainable over the long-term and we look forward to the Boettcher Creative District Leadership Awards taking them even further along the road to success."
About Colorado's new creative districts:
Pueblo Creative Corridor - 225 artists participate in the Pueblo Creative District whose activities attract 82,570 participants annually. The Packard Foundation has recently invested $50,000 to support more artist work/live spaces in the district in the near future.
"We are committed to finding ways to spur economic development in our city," said Pueblo City Manager Sam Azad. "This certification shows that job creation not only involves traditional efforts, but includes supporting those who not only will enrich our community through art but also boost our economic vitality."
Corazon de Trinidad - Trinidad's creative district includes six pieces of "mystery art", which appear on several vacant buildings, while the artist remains unknown to the public at large. Mayor Bernadette Baca Gonzalez attributes Trinidad's certification to "the hard work and united efforts of city staff, local officials, local businesses, area nonprofits and individual residents. Trinidad is now poised to take advantage of yet another economic development tool; one that emphasizes innovation and creativity."
North Fork Valley Creative District - The North Fork Valley Creative District in the heart of the Western Slope in Delta County encompasses the three towns of Paonia, Hotchkiss and Crawford.
"We are thrilled with the official designation for the North Fork Valley Creative District," said Kelli Hepler of Delta County Tourism. "This designation will help us promote the talents here and will provide an economic improvement for all."
Ridgway Creative District - Home to a thriving arts community encompassing visual, design, performing, textile, culinary, brewing and publishing arts, more than 10% of its 900 residents are artisans.
"We are incredibly thrilled to see the fruits of more than two years of effort toward this opportunity be rewarded," said Ridgway Mayor John Clark.
Telluride Creative District - Creative District Certification acknowledges Telluride's remarkable accomplishments in the arts over the last 40 years. The Town of Telluride is a 2010 Governor's Arts Award recipient and engages over 1,600 artists in its Creative District activities that attract over 255,000 participants annually. The Creative District recently spearheaded the Town's Master Plan that coordinates and integrates arts and creative activities in local life.
This year's awarded Prospective Districts include the Aurora Cultural Arts District, Downtown Colorado Springs, Greeley Creative District, Longmont Arts and Entertainment District, and RiNo Art District.
The Creative Industries Division convened a panel of peer experts to review applications submitted by nine districts from the pool of 13 qualified emerging and prospective districts. Submissions were reviewed by panelists using the Colorado Characteristics of Certified Creative Districts and scored using the following criteria: district characteristics, management and planning, community buy-in, and other factors. The next deadline to apply for Creative District Certification is May, 2014.
For more information, please visit www.coloradocreativeindustries.org.
Colorado's Creative Industries Division, Colorado's state arts agency, is a division of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Established to capitalize on the immense potential for our creative sector to enhance economic growth in Colorado, the mission of Colorado Creative Industries is to promote, support and expand the creative industries to drive Colorado's economy, grow jobs and enhance our quality of life.
For almost 75 years the Boettcher Foundation has served the people of Colorado by helping to build community infrastructure through capital grantmaking and investing in young minds through its Scholarship Program. In virtually every community throughout the state, the Foundation has partnered with outstanding nonprofits to make a difference in people's lives. The Foundation believes that this is what the Boettcher family intended when they gave their wealth to establish the Foundation for the benefit of the citizens of Colorado. For more information, visit www.boettcherfoundation.org.