Creative Districts Blossoming in the Pikes Peak Region
Several business districts in the Pikes Peak region are busily preparing to apply for Creative District designation, either as candidates or full-fledged designees, through Colorado Creative Industries. Woodland Park and Manitou Springs are applying for initial candidacy in the impressive state-wide program, while Colorado Springs will seek to graduate into a full-fledged designated District in 2014. A full description of the program and its guidelines can be found here.
COPPeR is thrilled by the collaboration and organization this program is inspiring in our local communities, and the leadership of local groups in applying to bring these state resources right here to our region. We encourage you to visit the creative districts described below and get involved in supporting their application through volunteering, shopping at the galleries, participating in arts events, and sharing the news about our growing arts and cultural momentum.
Newly Applying Communities
On Jan, 15, Woodland Park Arts Alliance hosted a town hall meeting at City Council Chambers to present their community with the idea of applying for Creative District designation through Colorado Creative Industries. The Hall was packed with over 80 people in attendance and stirring presentations about what the state-wide Creative District program could mean for Woodland Park’s community development, tourism and vibrancy.
“A creative arts district not only offers an opportunity to dramatically enhance the viability and sustainability of local arts organizations and artists,” says Woodland Park Arts Alliance director Ralph Holloway, “but also augment the entire economic structure of our city.” Anyone who would like to get involved should contact Ralph at the Woodland Park Arts Alliance at (719) 761-1671.
Press about the Woodland Park Application:
In Manitou Springs, Manitou Springs Arts Council and Manitou Art Center are preparing an application for their artistically vibrant neighborhood. Long known as a creative community where eclectic artists and free thinkers thrive, Manitou’s charming business district is also one of the largest National Historic Districts in the U.S., listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Its popular arts festivals, galleries like Commonwheel Artists Co-op, Tracy Miller Gallery, Fare Bella and more, public art installations and resident artist community draw cultural tourists year-round to our region.
Downtown Colorado Springs
Since 2012, downtown Colorado Springs has been developing its chops as a Creative District. Its first year it was known as Emerging, then graduated to Prospective status, and now stands on the threshold of full designation and all the resources that brings. The multi-faceted developments and programming necessary, from wayfinding to First Fridays to sidewalk performances and public art tours all fall under the coordination of the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs and their Creative District manager, Lara Garritano (a current COPPeR Board Member).
The Partnership loosely defines the downtown arts district boundaries as the Colorado Springs Fine Arts center on the north, the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum on the south, Cottonwood Center for the Arts on the east and America the Beautiful Park on the west. The district includes more than a dozen commercial and nonprofit galleries, over 50 pieces of public art and major creative events throughout the year like Pikes Peak Arts Festival by the Pikes Peak Arts Council, the What If! Festival presented by Imagination Celebration, Colorado College Summer Music Festival and more.
More info about the downtown application can be found here: