Thursday, February 6, 2014

Woodland Park discussing creative districting

Posted By on Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Recently, The Mountain Jackpot reported that Woodland Park is making moves toward applying to obtain a creative district designation through the state's creative districting program.
click to enlarge Creative district status could mean more green for Woodland Park. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Creative district status could mean more green for Woodland Park.

Run  through Colorado Creative Industries, a part of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, the creative districts program awards grant money and offers state and national marketing opportunities, technical support from professional consultants and access to tools like the Creative Vitality Index, Beth Dodd writes for TMJ.

In a well-attended public meeting held Jan. 15, Woodland Park City Councilman Gary Brovetto pitched the concept and proposed creative district boundaries (which are required in CCI's districting application.) In addition, Susan Edmondson of the Downtown Partnership spoke, sharing her experience gaining candidate creative district status for downtown Colorado Springs.

In the past year, CCI restructured its Creative Districts program. Before, accepted applicants fell into one of three categories: emerging, prospective and then certified. Now there are only two categories, candidate and certified. Downtown is one of seven state-wide candidate districts. CCI will work with the candidate districts to help them achieve certified status.

But to even get that far, CCI requires elements that reflect things like community buy-in, local government endorsement, dedicated district management and a unique story and brand that identifies the district and helps spread the word about it. The competition is stiff. According to the Woodland Park Arts Alliance, over 140 entities have applied so far, and only 15 have been chosen.

Meanwhile, Councilman Brovetto was to present a resolution to apply to council today. After that, Dodd writes, Woodland Park will need volunteers to further move the initiative along, as "communities [must] show they are already doing the legwork to create a sustainable creative community." Those who wish to help can contact organizers here.

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