Friday, June 20, 2014

Downtown earns Creative District status

Posted By on Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 5:05 PM

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Today, the Downtown Partnership announced that our very own downtown area has been formally certified by Colorado Creative Industries, a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade, as a full-fledged Creative District.

It's a major coup that means that the state will now recognize downtown as one of a fleet of districts that exemplify that golden term, creative placemaking, the intersection of culture, economics and quality of life. With the Boettcher Foundation, downtown will receive funding and hands-on support from the state to further its cause and promote visitors.

To qualify, a district must "capture its unique story and reflect that story;" integrate with other "community systems such as planning, economic development, tourism, transportation, urban renewal, safety and public gathering spaces;" and lastly, have local gov's backing.

In addition, each candidate must undergo a rigorous application process that involves state visits and a governing body to oversee the district. And to even get to the point where they are formally considered (and then groomed to become a Creative District) a place must be chosen as a candidate district, and — in further good news — Manitou Springs just earned that designation today as well.

Downtown will join the Pueblo Creative Corridor and the Salida Creative District, along with fellow 2014 inductees the 40 West Arts District, LakewoodRiNo Art District, Denver and the Greeley Creative District.

Partnership president and CEO Susan Edmondson says in the release, "Creative District status allows us to further leverage our cultural and creative assets to attract new business, stimulate tourism and ensure that downtown is the place of choice for launching new ideas while also preserving our rich cultural heritage.

“Creative areas are appealing places to live, visit, and conduct business, which in turn enhances the economic and civic capital of a community. It’s good for downtown, but it’s also good for the entire community as well.”

To celebrate the new status, there will be a public ice cream social Sat., June 28, 5:30 p.m. in Acacia Park, directly ahead of the Acacia Park Summer Concert Series.

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