Colorado Creative Industries (CCI), a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade, and the Boettcher Foundation today announced the acceptance of the Downtown Fort Collins Creative District as a Candidate District into the Colorado Creative Districts Program.
“The acceptance of Downtown Fort Collins into this prestigious program further establishes Fort Collins as a cultural center in Colorado,” said Director of Cultural Services Jill Stilwell. “It will enhance the economic and civic capital of the community, retain and attract artists and creative entrepreneurs to Fort Collins, and promote this community’s unique identity.”
Creative districts accepted into the program as “candidates” work toward certification for two years. This incubator-style program offers Candidate Creative Districts benefits in the form of direct funding and professional assistance, training, and networking with peers. Candidate districts can apply for certification at the end of two years.
Submissions were reviewed by panelists using the following criteria: district characteristics, management and planning, community buy-in, and other factors. Each candidate district will be awarded a $5,000 matching grant from CCI.
“These 2014 certified and candidate creative districts are great examples of how the arts create exciting places for people to visit and live,” said Governor John 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.”
Certification involves an evaluation process based on the following criteria:
“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 opportunities to grow the creative economy,” said Margaret Hunt, director of Colorado Creative Industries.
“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 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.”
Other candidate districts entering the program include: Mancos Creative District, Manitou Springs Arts Council Creative District, Crestone Creative District, Crested Butte Creative District, Carbondale Historic Downtown Core and the Evergreen Creative District.
For more information, please visit www.coloradocreativeindustries.org.