Friday, March 9, 2012


KUDOS & THANKS TO CHAIR MICHAEL McCULLOUGH, AND THE "G3" COMMITTEE:  Lucy Boody, John Clark, Dee Williams, Susie Odahl, Beecher Threat, Caroline Lescroart, Joyce Linn, and Lynn Padgett


DENVER ­— Friday, March 9, 2012 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today announced the formal certification of two new Colorado Creative Districts: Downtown Salida and Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe. The districts will each receive a $15,000 grant and assistance to attract artists, creative entrepreneurs and visitors as a strategy to infuse new energy and innovation and enhance the economic and civic capital of the community. The program is administered by the Office of Economic Development and International Trade through the Colorado Creative Industries division.

“Colorado is filled with vibrant centers of commerce, culture and creativity, and is a magnet for creative workers,” Hickenlooper said. “The formation of Creative Districts provides visitors and residents with an opportunity to participate and invest in the arts, while contributing to the economic vitality of the region and attracting creative entrepreneurs and artists.”

Forty-four different districts from 25 counties applied for the designation. In addition to the two Certified Creative Districts, five applicants were designated as Prospective Creative Districts and will each receive $8,000 and a customized package of technical assistance to enhance the likelihood that they will be certified in the future. Eight were designated as Emerging Creative Districts and will each receive $2,000 and technical assistance to further their district planning.

Prospective Creative Districts:

  • Longmont Arts & Entertainment District
  • Town of Ridgway
  • Downtown Pueblo
  • Town of Telluride
  • Denver’s River North Art District

Emerging Creative Districts:

  • Downtown Parker
  • City of Trinidad
  • Downtown Greeley and the University District
  • Downtown Colorado Springs
  • 40 West Arts District in Lakewood
  • Aurora Arts District
  • Durango Business Improvement District
  • North Fork Valley in Delta County

The remaining applicants not selected will be eligible for assistance through the “Colorado Creates” grant program, which supports arts activities in communities. They can also receive assistance through the inaugural Creative Industries Summit and Colorado Creative Industry’s website.

“The Art District on Santa Fe is thrilled to be an inaugural designee”, said Jack Pappalardo, board president. “The receipt of this recognition validates our accomplishments to date and illustrates what a cooperative effort of creative individuals can produce. We now look forward to collaborating with CCI to facilitate sustainability, attract new creative entrepreneurs, and achieve the next level of economic and cultural vibrancy in our creative community. An enhanced Art District on Santa Fe will be a benefit not only to our creative district but also to all of metro Denver and the state of Colorado.

Salida Mayor Don Stephens said “Salida is a creative, vibrant community and we are honored by the recognition we are receiving from CCI. We understand Salida was awarded this grant in a very competitive grant process. The assistance that will be provided as part of the Creative District program will have a significant impact in our planning and marketing efforts as we further develop our creative industries. We anticipate this will allow Salida to leverage its creative resources for a stronger economic future.”
In 2011, Gov. Hickenlooper signed legislation that encourages the formation of Creative Districts in communities for the purposes of attracting creative entrepreneurs and artists to a community, infusing new energy and innovation which in turn will enhance the economic and civic capital of the community; creating hubs of economic activity, thereby enhancing the area as an appealing place to live, visit and conduct business, as well as create new economic activity; attracting visitors; revitalizing and beautifying communities; providing a focal point for celebrating and strengthening a community’s unique identity; and showcasing cultural and artistic organizations, events, and amenities.

Nine other states have recently developed this economic development strategy of developing programs to certify such districts (Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Texas).

Applications were reviewed by a panel of professionals with experience in arts and creative industries, city planning, economic development, and business development. Panelists assessed applications based primarily on district characteristics, management and planning, and community support.

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