Release Date: April 7,2014

2014 Colorado Creative District applicants announced

2014 Colorado Creative District applicants announced

DENVER - Mon., March 31, 2014 - Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) today announced that 11 communities have been invited to apply for the Creative District Certification Program. The communities applying are Avon, Carbondale, Crested Butte, Crestone, Estes Park, Evergreen, Denver/Golden Triangle Museum District, Fort Collins, Mancos, Manitou Springs and Westminster. As many as seven communities may be accepted as candidates for Colorado certification. 

"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 financial sustainability and opportunities for economic growth," said Margaret Hunt, director of CCI.

The selected Creative Districts candidates will participate in a two-year incubator style program with benefits including direct funding, professional assistance, training and networking with peers. The districts can apply to become Colorado Certified Districts after completing the training program.

The seven Creative Districts currently in the Creative District Program are eligible to apply for certification in 2014. These candidates have completed two years of training to develop capacity and sustainability. If they are certified in 2014 by the State of Colorado, they will also be eligible to receive a Boettcher Leadership Award. These districts are 40 West Arts District (Lakewood), Aurora Cultural Arts District, Downtown Colorado Springs, Greeley Creative District, Longmont Arts and Entertainment District, Old Town Parker and RiNo Art District (Denver).

"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 of the Boettcher Foundation. "We want to help them be successful and financially 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."

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of professionals with experience in arts and creative industries, city planning, economic development and business development. Panelists will assess applications based primarily on district characteristics, management, planning and community buy-in.

Detailed information and application guidelines are available at http://www.coloradocreativeindustries.org/communities/creative-district-certification.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the Creative District legislation in 2011. The first certified districts were Denver's Art District on Santa Fe and Downtown Salida. In 2013, five additional districts were granted state certification: Corazon de Trinidad, North Fork Valley Creative District, Pueblo Creative Corridor, Ridgway Creative District and Telluride Arts District.

The legislation encourages the formation of creative districts in communities, neighborhoods or contiguous geographic areas for the purposes of: attracting creative entrepreneurs and artists to infuse new energy and innovation to 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; 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.

About the Boettcher Foundation
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. For more information, visit www.boettcherfoundation.org.

About Colorado Creative Industries
Colorado's Creative Industries Division is a division of the Colorado 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. www.coloradocreativeindustries.org.